Inequalities - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 5 pages of information about Inequalities.
This section contains 1,198 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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An inequality is a mathematical statement that looks exactly like an equation except that the equals sign is replaced with one of the five inequality symbols.

≠ not equal to

< less than

≤ less than or equal to

> greater than

≥ greater than or equal to

Imagine two friends of ages 9 and 12. Each of the five inequality symbols can be used to write a statement about their ages, depending on which aspect about their ages is to be emphasized.

9 ≠ 12 says that 9 is not equal to 12

9 < 12 says that 9 is less than 12

9 ≤ 12 says that 9 is less than or equal to 12

12 > 9 says that 12 is greater than 9

12 ≥ 9 says that 12 is greater than or equal to 9

Notice that 9 < 12 and 12 > 9 are two ways to represent the same relationship; when the 9 and 12 are reversed, the inequality is also reversed.

The difference in meaning of "greater than" and "greater than or equal to" is subtle. For example, let a...

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This section contains 1,198 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Inequalities Encyclopedia Article
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Inequalities from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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