# [closed] Do repeating decimals such as 1/3 (.3333333 etc.) really have no end?

 .add-comment-link, .action-link a:not([href*="close"]):not([href*="reopen"]):not([href*="delete"]), a[class*="comment-convert"] { display: none; } I have thought about this question my whole life, and I do not agree that they have no end. At some point, when you are dividing something, you reach the atomic level. You cannot split an atom into thirds- the world would blow up! Blessings, Jai asked 11 Feb '10, 09:36 Jaianniah 36.4k●6●48●483

### The question has been closed for the following reason "Question is off-topic or not relevant" by IQ Moderator 30 Dec '13, 18:35

 2 Bear in mind that the decimal .33333 etc. is an approximation of one third. If it were an exact representation of one third, then multiplying it by three would yield 1; but the actual product is .99999 etc. Also, remember that a decimal represents parts of 10, or parts of 100, or parts of 1000, etc. (That is, 3 tenths, or 33 hundredths, or 333 thousandths, etc.) Rather than thinking about the repeating decimal as dividing something into infinitesimally smaller pieces, as we keep adding threes, we are just naming a larger number which is a part of an even larger number. So if 1 (one) was divided into a million parts, we would be separating out 333,333 of those parts. It is really the limitations of language and our number system that makes your question perplexing. As a purely mathematical concept, repeating decimals have no end. And I agree with what Vesuvius and Wade Casaldi have said. answered 12 Feb '10, 11:47 John 4.1k●1●9●35
 1 Numbers do not have to have a corresponding physical counterpart to still be valid numbers. So yes, the number 1/3 really repeats indefinitely. This fact becomes important when dealing with certain mathematical proofs. The number of atoms in the observable universe is estimated at 1080 atoms, so a third of that would be three with seventy-nine threes after it. I suppose you could consider this the largest significant number with a physical counterpart, that contains all threes. answered 11 Feb '10, 14:20 Vesuvius 31.9k●3●28●177
 1 I read someplace the reason we have these anomalies is because our number system is based on 10, had our number system been based on 9 for example 1/3 would be perfect. So it is not that reality is wrong but the systems we made up for measuring it, in other words the limits of our own creations, that makes a strange point change the system and everything believed and experienced also has to change. answered 11 Feb '10, 16:13 Wade Casaldi 36.1k●2●14●83

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