Browse Definitions:
Definition

algebraic number

An algebraic number is any real number that is a solution of some single-variable polynomial equation whose coefficient s are all integer s. While this is an abstract notion, theoretical mathematics has potentially far-reaching applications in communications and computer science, especially in data encryption and security.

The general form of a single-variable polynomial equation is:

a + a 1 x + a 2 x 2 + a 3 x 3 + ... + a n x n = 0

where a , a 1 , a 2 , ..., a n are the coefficients, and x is the unknown for which the equation is to be solved. A number x is algebraic if and only if there exists some equation of the above form such that a , a 1 , a 2 , ..., a n are all integers.

All rational number s are algebraic. Examples include 25, 7/9, and -0.245245245. Some irrational number s are also algebraic. Examples are 2 1/2 (the square root of 2) and 3 1/3 (the cube root of 3). There are irrational numbers x for which no single-variable, integer-coefficient polynomial equation exists with x as a solution. Examples are pi (the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter in a plane) and e (the natural logarithm base). Numbers of this type are known as transcendental number s.

This was last updated in September 2005

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement)

    A cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement) is an agreement between a cloud service provider and a customer that ensures a ...

  • wear leveling

    Wear leveling is a process that is designed to extend the life of solid-state storage devices.

  • storage area network (SAN)

    A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated high-speed network or subnetwork that interconnects and presents shared pools of ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close