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The Reverse Notation

Nature volume 142, page 775 (29 October 1938) | Download Citation



IN this interesting book, the author explains a new notation which he has devised to remove the main defects of the Arabic notation. The two main characteristics of the system, called the reverse notation, are the introduction of negative digits and the adoption of 12 as the radix or base. The consecutive sequence of digits is written: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, so that any number like 8 is denoted by 14, whilst 154 represents seven dozen and four. The notation is applied to the ordinary rules of arithmetic and the author claims that the numbers of the reverse notation “are balanced about their centres of gravity”, which is not the case with the Arabic system.

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