Dividing decimals is based is the following fact:
If we multiply the dividend and divisor by the same number,
We saw that in Lesson 11 where we used the division bar, which is now the most useful way to indicate division. (See Problems 29 - 31 of that Lesson.) Nevertheless, in Lesson 12 we did problems with the traditional division box. For the sake of those students still required to learn division of decimals in that way, there remains only the case in which the divisor is a decimal.
But the divisor must be a whole number. If it is not a whole number, then we have to multiply it so that it becomes one.
Multiply the divisor by 100 so that it becomes the whole number 3. Compensate by multiplying 12 by 100 also; add on two 0's. (Lesson 4, Questions 1 and 2.)
Make .008 into the whole number 8 by multiplying it by 1000. Multiply the dividend also by 1000 --
-- move the decimal point three places right. (Lesson 4, Question 2.)
Notice that the dividend becomes a whole number. There is no decimal point. Therefore there will be no decimal point in the quotient:
Multply both numbers by 10. The decimal point then goes directly above.
Example 4. 8.3 ÷ 0.04
Solution. Here is how to do this using the division bar. It goes directly to the meaning of division rather than simply skill in a method.
These examples illustrate that, even though we are dividing decimals, we can really divide only whole numbers, and then correctly place the decimal point. The same is true for multiplying decimals, adding them and subtracting them.
At this point, please "turn" the page and do some Problems.
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Copyright © 2012 Lawrence Spector
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