Here's a preview from my zine, **How Integers and Floats Work**!
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## read the transcript!

## science <3 floating point

## floating point was invented to do scientific computation

- weather simulations!
- earthquake modeling!
- orbital mechanics!

## scientists don’t need unlimited precision…

we only know an electron’s mass to 9 decimal places anyway…

9 decimal places is already VERY precise!

## but they do need TINY numbers and GIANT numbers

mass of hydrogen atom:

`1.6735575 * 10^-24`

grams

distance to Andromeda galaxy:

`2.4 * 10^22`

meters

## floating point is inspired by scientific notation

`1.6735575 x 10^-24`

The idea in floating point is to store a number by splitting it into:

- the exponent (like
`-24`

) - the multiplier (like
`1.6735575`

) - and its sign (+ or -)

## floating point isn’t just used for science though

For example, Javascript’s number type is floating point. Before it added `BigInt`

in 2021, Javascript didn’t have integers at all!

Similarly, numbers in JSON are often interpreted as floating point numbers.

## panel:

people usually explain floating point as “it’s scientific notation, but in binary!” That’s true, but I’ve never found it intuitive so we’re going to explain it a different way.