Digitized: Exploring Python’s Handling of Numbers


Python is a powerful and popular high-level programming language used for web development, scientific computing, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and so much more. It was first released in 1991 by Guido van Rossum and has since become one of the most widely used programming languages in the world.

Python is known for its simplicity, ease of use, readability, and conciseness. Understanding how to handle numbers in Python is paramount as it’s an essential part of any computing task that requires numerical processing.

Whether you’re working with basic arithmetic operations or complex mathematical functions such as logarithms or sine waves, Python provides an intuitive interface for handling numerical data. In this article, we will explore the various ways that Python handles numbers and why it’s important to understand these functionalities.

In this article, we will cover basic number types such as integers and floating-point numbers; numeric operators such as addition, subtraction multiplication division; mathematical functions like abs(), pow(), round(), min(), max(); conversion functions like int() float(); BigInt; working with large numbers; decimal precision and other related topics to get an in-depth understanding of how Python handles numbers. We’ll provide detailed explanations on how each concept works with illustrative examples to ensure that readers can easily grasp these concepts even if they have no prior experience with programming or have just started learning Python.

Basic Number Types in Python

Python is a dynamic-typed programming language that supports various data types, including numbers, strings, and Boolean values. Python can efficiently handle numbers of different types such as integers and floating-point numbers.

Integers and Floating-Point Numbers

Integers are whole numbers that do not have any decimal points. Python provides support for arbitrary-length integers so we can work with large (or small) integers without worrying about overflow or underflow errors. In other words, the size of the integer is limited by the amount of memory available on the computer.

For example, `x = 987654321098765432109876543210` will be stored as an integer type in Python. On the other hand, floating-point numbers are used to represent real numbers with decimal points or scientific notation.

They are called ‘floats’ because their decimal point can “float” i.e., they can represent both very large and very small numbers by moving the decimal point toward or away from the left-most digit. For example: `y = 1e-6` represents 0.000001 in scientific notation.

Examples of how to use each type in code

To declare an integer variable in Python, we don’t need to specify its data type explicitly; we just need to assign a number without a decimal point to it: “` x = 10

y = -123456789 z = 9999999999999999 “`

In this code snippet, `x`, `y`, and `z` are all integers. For declaring a float variable, we assign it explicitly using a decimal point: “`

a = 10.5 b= -4E-7

c= +1000.1 “` In this code snippet, `a`, `b`, and `c` are all floating-point numbers.

`b` uses scientific notation with the positive exponent to represent a very small number. Using these data types in Python is straightforward, and you can use them the same way you would in any other programming language.

Numeric Operators in Python

Programming languages use operators to manipulate values and variables. Numeric operators in Python are used to perform arithmetic and comparison operations on numbers.

Arithmetic Operators

Python has several arithmetic operators that are used for basic mathematical calculations. The arithmetic operators include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, modulus, and exponentiation. The addition (+) operator is used to add two numbers together.

For example: “` a = 5

b = 10 c = a + b

print(c) “` Output: 15

The subtraction (-) operator is used to subtract one number from another. For example: “`

a = 10 b = 5

c = a – b print(c) “`

Output: 5 The multiplication (*) operator is used to multiply two numbers together.

For example: “` a = 5

b = 6 c = a * b

print(c) “` Output: 30

The division (/) operator is used to divide one number by another. For example: “`

a = 10 b = 2

c = a / b print(c) “`

Output: 5.0 The modulus (%) operator returns the remainder of dividing the first number by the second number.

For example: “` a = 10

b=3 c=a%b

print(c) “` Output:1

The exponentiation (**) operator raises the first number to the power of the second number. For exmaple :

“`python a=2

b=3 c=a**b

print(c) “` Output :8

Comparison Operators

Comparison operators are used to compare values or variables in Python code. There are four types of comparison operators in Python including greater than (>), less than (<), equal to (==), and not equal to (!=). The greater than operator (>) checks whether the first value is greater than the second value.

For example: “` a = 10

b = 5 print(a > b) “`

Output: True The less than operator (<) checks whether the first value is less than the second value.

For example: “` a = 10

b = 5 print(a < b) “`

Output: False The equal to operator (==) checks whether two values are equal or not.

For example: “` a = 10

b = 5 + 5 print(a == b) “`

Output: True The not equal to operator (!=) checks whether two values are not equal.

For example: “`python

a=3 b=4

print(a!=b) “` Output :True

Comparison operators return a boolean value of True or False depending on if the comparison is true or false. These operators can be used in conditional statements and loops for decision-making purposes within Python code.

Built-in Functions for Numbers in Python

Python offers an extensive range of built-in functions for handling numbers. These functions are pre-defined by Python and can be used directly in your code without defining them separately. In this section, we will explore the most commonly used built-in mathematical functions in Python.

Mathematical Functions

Abs function: This function returns the absolute value of a number. The absolute value is the positive distance from zero.

For example, abs(-5) will return 5. Pow function: This function is used to calculate the power of a number.

It takes two arguments – base and exponent – and returns the result after raising the base to the exponent. For example, pow(2, 3) will return 8 because 2 raised to the power of 3 is 8.

Round function: This function rounds off a floating-point number to a specified number of decimal places. It takes two arguments – number and decimal places – and returns a rounded-off value of that number up to specified decimal places.

For example, round(4/3, 3) will return 1.333 because it rounds off (4/3) up to three decimal places. Min and Max functions: These functions are used to find out the minimum and maximum values from a list or tuple of numbers respectively.

Both these functions accept any number of arguments separated by commas and return either minimum or maximum value present among those numbers. For example, min(10,20,-5,-35) will return -35 whereas max(10,20,-5,-35) will return 20.

Conversion Functions

The int function: This function is used to convert a floating-point number or a string containing numeric character(s) into an integer. For example, int(5.5) will return 5 and int(“7”) will return 7. The float function: This function is used to convert an integer or a string containing numeric character(s) into a floating-point number.

For example, float(3) will return 3.0 and float(“5.6”) will return 5.6. Python’s built-in functions make working with numbers efficient and easy in Python programming language, especially when dealing with mathematical operations or converting data types for calculations.

Working with Large Numbers and Decimal Precision

Big Integers

Python’s built-in integer data type has a limit on the maximum value it can store. When working with very large integers that exceed this limit, Python provides a module named “BigInt.” BigInt is a Python library that allows you to work with arbitrary-precision integers.

These are numbers with no predefined length limit and thus can contain any number of digits. BigInts are created by initializing a variable using the constructor “int” and passing in the value as a string.

BigInt is especially useful when dealing with cryptography, very large calculations, or anything requiring precision up to hundreds or thousands of decimal places. Additionally, BigInt is easy to use since it doesn’t require any special syntax or functions.

Decimal Precision

When it comes to decimal precision in Python programming, there are two main data types: float and Decimal. Floats are not guaranteed to have perfect decimal precision due to how computers handle floating-point numbers internally.

However, if you need more accurate decimal precision for your calculations, then you should use the Decimal module. The Decimal module is part of Python’s standard library and offers much greater precision than floats (up to 28-29 significant digits).

It allows you full control over rounding rules and other mathematical operations for high-precision arithmetic. The syntax for using the Decimal module is simple – import it at the beginning of your file – after which you can easily define your variables as decimals by calling them in quotes e.g “10.5”.


Understanding how numbers work in programming languages is crucial since they form the foundation for numerous applications from basic math computations to complex programs like cryptography systems – where digital accuracy is paramount. In this article, we’ve explored different ways Python handles numbers; including basic number types such as integers and float, numerical operators such as arithmetic and comparison operators, and built-in functions for numbers in Python. We’ve also looked at BigInt and Decimal precision to give a more in-depth understanding of how to work with large numbers and decimal precision.

Python is a highly popular programming language due to its versatility, readability, and ease of use. With the knowledge gleaned from this article, you can understand how to work with numbers in Python better – including large integers or enhanced decimal accuracy.

The world of programming is vast, and each day comes with new learning opportunities. So don’t hesitate to dig deeper into Python by exploring other exciting modules or libraries available in this amazing language!

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