# Thread: By a factor of

1. ## By a factor of

A. 12, 34, 65, 99
B. 121, 130, 176, 198

Can I say that the A-numbers are (in general, as a group) more or less smaller than the B-numbers by a factor of 10?

Thanks,
Nyggus

2. ## Re: By a factor of

I think that is probably true, but why wouldn't you say that the A numebers were only 10%, by and large, of the B numbers?

It is one thing to say what is "true" but it is preferable to say what is more commonly understood by the reader.

3. ## Re: By a factor of

Originally Posted by nyggus
A. 12, 34, 65, 99
B. 121, 130, 176, 198

Can I say that the A-numbers are (in general, as a group) more or less smaller than the B-numbers by a factor of 10?

Thanks,
Nyggus
I'm not a teacher, and I'm also not very good at maths, but I would say that only the first A number is smaller than its B companion by a factor of 10. The others are not even close to being that much smaller. The last pair is only a factor of two, the penultimate pair only a factor of three, and the second pair a factor of four. I can't see the validity of describing the group as being smaller by a factor of ten, even as a generalisation.

4. ## Re: By a factor of

Originally Posted by stuartnz
I'm not a teacher, and I'm also not very good at maths, but I would say that only the first A number is smaller than its B companion by a factor of 10. The others are not even close to being that much smaller. The last pair is only a factor of two, the penultimate pair only a factor of three, and the second pair a factor of four. I can't see the validity of describing the group as being smaller by a factor of ten, even as a generalisation.
Your point is good. Maybe I should simply say that they have one digit fewer.

Nyggus

5. ## Re: By a factor of

Oops, you are right, Stuart. I didn't do the math on the numbers. Thanks for catching that!

6. ## Re: By a factor of

Maybe I should simply say that they have one digit fewer.

To do so would only be valid if you cease to regard them as mathematical qualtities (numbers per se), and are merely viewing them as series of numeric characters (as in alphanumeric characters such as 6HZ90X)

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