a real number is a value that represents a quantity along a continuum, such as 5 (an integer), 3/4 (a rational number that is not an integer), 8.6 (a rational number expressed in decimal representation), and π (3.1415926535..., an irrational number). In contrast with the real numbers, the integers, such as 5, express discrete rather than continuous quantities. Complex numbers include real numbers as a special case. Real numbers can be divided into rational numbers, such as 42 and −23/129, and irrational numbers, such as pi and the square root of two. A real number can be given by an infinite decimal representation, such as 2.4871773339..., where the digits continue indefinitely. The real numbers are sometimes thought of as points on an infinitely long line named number line or real line.

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