.25). A mixed number represents one, or
more, complete objects, and some portion of an object, such as one and a half apples (1.5 apples). When
you use any base other than the decimal system, the division between whole numbers and fractional
numbers is referred to as the RADIX POINT. The decimal point is actually the radix point of the decimal
system, but the term radix point is normally not used with the base 10 number system.
Just as important as positional notation is the use of the zero. The placement of the zero in a number
can have quite an effect on the value being represented. Sometimes a position in a number does not have a
value between 1 and 9. Consider how this would affect your next paycheck. If you were expecting a
check for 5.47, you wouldnt want it to be .47. Leaving out the zero in this case means a difference
of 0.00. In the number 605.47, the zero indicates that there are no tens. If you place this value on a bar
graph, you will see that there are no multiples of 101.
Most Significant Digit and Least Significant Digit (MSD and LSD)
Other important factors of number systems that you should recognize are the MOST SIGNIFICANT
DIGIT (MSD) and the LEAST SIGNIFICANT DIGIT (LSD).
The MSD in a number is the digit that has the greatest effect on that number.
The LSD in a number is the digit that has the least effect on that number.
Look at the following examples: