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Whole numbers

Whole numbers are an integral part of the number system and provide a foundation for mathematical operations. In this article, we will delve into the definition of whole numbers, understand their characteristics, and explore examples to enhance our understanding.

Definition of Whole Numbers

Whole numbers are a set of numbers that includes all the non-negative integers, including zero. They do not include any fractions, decimals, or negative numbers. Whole numbers are represented by the set of natural numbers (1, 2, 3, …), along with zero (0). They are called “whole” numbers because they represent complete units or quantities without any fractional or decimal parts.

Symbol for Whole Numbers

The symbol commonly used to represent whole numbers is “W” or “ℤ⁺”. This symbol indicates that the set includes zero (0) and all the positive integers.

Smallest Whole Number

The smallest whole number is zero (0). It is the starting point of the set of whole numbers. Zero represents the absence or lack of quantity. It is the only whole number that is neither positive nor negative. While other whole numbers increase in value, zero remains the smallest whole number and acts as the reference point for counting and comparison.

List of Whole Numbers

Here is a list of whole numbers:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and so on.

The list continues indefinitely, with each subsequent number being one unit greater than the previous one.

Difference Between Whole numbers and Natural Numbers

The main difference between whole numbers and natural numbers lies in the inclusion of zero:

Whole Numbers Natural Numbers
Definition Whole numbers include zero and all the Natural numbers are positive integers starting
non-negative integers. from 1 and extending infinitely.
Representation {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, …} {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …}
Zero Inclusion Zero is included in the set. Zero is not included in the set.
Negative Numbers Negative numbers are not included. Negative numbers are not included.

Properties of Whole Numbers

Here are some important properties of whole numbers:

  1. Closure Property: Whole numbers are closed under addition and multiplication. When you add or multiply two whole numbers, the result is always a whole number.
  2. Identity Property: The number zero (0) acts as the additive identity for whole numbers. Adding zero to any whole number leaves the number unchanged. For example, 5 + 0 = 5.
  3. No Inverse Property: Whole numbers, except for zero (0), do not have additive inverses. In other words, there is no whole number that can be added to another whole number to give zero.
  4. Ordering Property: Whole numbers can be arranged in ascending order. Each whole number is greater than the preceding whole number. For example, 3 is greater than 2.

Characteristics of Whole Numbers

Here are some key characteristics of whole numbers:

  1. Non-negative Integers: Whole numbers include all the positive integers (1, 2, 3, …) and zero (0). They do not include negative numbers (-1, -2, -3, …).
  2. No Fractions or Decimals: Whole numbers do not contain fractions or decimals. They represent discrete, countable quantities.
  3. Counting and Cardinal Numbers: Whole numbers are used for counting objects or representing cardinality, such as the number of apples, students in a class, or pages in a book.

Examples of Whole Numbers

To better understand whole numbers, let’s explore some examples:

  1. 0: Zero is the smallest whole number and represents the absence or lack of quantity.
  2. 3: Three is a positive whole number that represents a countable quantity.
  3. 10: Ten is a larger whole number, often used as a benchmark in our number system.
  4. 127: One hundred twenty-seven is another example of a whole number, representing a specific quantity.
  5. 1000: One thousand is a larger whole number often used to represent a significant quantity or value.

FAQs on Whole Numbers

What are whole numbers?
Whole numbers are a set of non-negative integers that include zero. They do not include fractions, decimals, or negative numbers.

Can whole numbers be negative?
No, whole numbers do not include negative numbers. They only consist of zero and positive integers.

How are whole numbers used in mathematics?
Whole numbers are used for counting, representing quantities, and performing basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Can you give some examples of whole numbers?

Examples of whole numbers include 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on. They continue indefinitely, with each subsequent number being one unit greater than the previous one.

Are whole numbers infinite?
Yes, the set of whole numbers extends infinitely. There is no upper limit to the magnitude of whole numbers.

Are whole numbers rational or irrational?
Whole numbers are rational numbers because they can be expressed as fractions with a denominator of 1.

Can we perform division with whole numbers?
Yes, division can be performed with whole numbers. However, in some cases, it may result in a quotient with a remainder.

How are whole numbers represented in mathematics?
Whole numbers can be represented using set notation, as {0, 1, 2, 3, …}, or using the symbol “W” or “ℤ⁺”.