Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Absolute Value

Absolute Value 

When we want to talk about how “large” a number is without regard as to whether it is positive or negative, we use the absolute value function. The absolute value of a number is the distance from that number to the origin (zero) on the number line. That distance is always given as a non-negative number.
In short:
  • If a number is positive (or zero), the absolute value function does nothing to it:
  • If a number is negative, the absolute value function makes it positive:

If there is arithmetic to do inside the absolute value sign, you must do it before taking the absolute value—the absolute value function acts on the result of whatever is inside it. For example, a common error is
The correct result is

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