Definition:Fraction/Historical Note

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Historical Note on Fraction

The consideration of fraction was the next development of the concept of a number after the natural numbers.

They arose as a matter of course from the need to understand the process of measurement.

The convention where a bar is placed between the numerator and denominator was introduced to the West by Fibonacci, following the work of the Arabic mathematicians.

Previous to this, fractions were written by the Hindu mathematicians without the bar.

Thus $\dfrac 3 4$ would have been written $\displaystyle {3 \atop 4}$.