Radix point The dot that separates the whole part from the fractional part in a real number in any base Floating point A representation of a real number that keeps track of the sign, mantissa, and exponent 3.2 Representing Numeric Data 61 01111111 + 00000011 10000010 100000010 in our scheme represents ± 126, not +130. If, however, we were not representing negative numbers, the result would be correct. Overflow is a classic example of the type of problems we encounter by mapping an infinite world onto a finite machine. No matter how many bits we allocate for a number, there is always the potential need to represent a number that doesn’t fit. How overflow problems are handled varies by computer hardware and by the differences in programming languages. Representing Real Numbers In computing, we call all noninteger values (that can be represented) real values. For our purposes here, we define a real number as a value with a potential fractional part. That is, real numbers have a whole part and a
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