Open main menu

The duodecimal system (also known as base 12, dozenal, or rarely uncial) is a positional notation numeral system using twelve as its base. The number twelve (that is, the number written as "12" in the base ten numerical system) is instead written as "10" in duodecimal (meaning "1 dozen and 0 units", instead of "1 ten and 0 units"), whereas the digit string "12" means "1 dozen and 2 units" (i.e. the same number that in decimal is written as "14"). Similarly, in duodecimal "100" means "1 gross", "1000" means "1 great gross", and "0.1" means "1 twelfth" (instead of their decimal meanings "1 hundred", "1 thousand", and "1 tenth").

The number twelve, a superior highly composite number, is the smallest number with four non-trivial factors (2, 3, 4, 6), and the smallest to include as factors all four numbers (1 to 4) within the subitizing range, and the smallest abundant number. As a result of this increased factorability of the radix and its divisibility by a wide range of the most elemental numbers (whereas ten has only two non-trivial factors: 2 and 5, and not 3, 4, or 6), duodecimal representations fit more easily than decimal ones into many common patterns, as evidenced by the higher regularity observable in the duodecimal multiplication table. As a result, duodecimal has been described as the optimal number system.[1] Of its factors, 2 and 3 are prime, which means the reciprocals of all 3-smooth numbers (such as 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 16, 18, 24, 27, 32, 36, ...) have a terminating representation in duodecimal. In particular, the five most elementary fractions (​ 12, ​ 13, ​ 23, ​ 14 and ​ 34) all have a short terminating representation in duodecimal (0.6, 0.4, 0.8, 0.3 and 0.9, respectively), and twelve is the smallest radix with this feature (because it is the least common multiple of 3 and 4). This all makes it a more convenient number system for computing fractions than most other number systems in common use, such as the decimal, vigesimal, binary, octal and hexadecimal systems. Although the trigesimal and sexagesimal systems (where the reciprocals of all 5-smooth numbers terminate) do even better in this respect, this is at the cost of unwieldy multiplication tables and a much larger number of symbols to memorize.

Contents

OriginEdit

In this section, numerals are based on decimal places. For example, 10 means ten, 12 means twelve.

Languages using duodecimal number systems are uncommon. Languages in the Nigerian Middle Belt such as Janji, Gbiri-Niragu (Gure-Kahugu), Piti, and the Nimbia dialect of Gwandara;[2] the Chepang language of Nepal[3] and the Maldivian language (Dhivehi) of the people of the Maldives and Minicoy Island in India are known to use duodecimal numerals.

Germanic languages have special words for 11 and 12, such as eleven and twelve in English. However, they are considered to come from Proto-Germanic *ainlif and *twalif (respectively one left and two left), both of which were decimal.[4][5]

Historically, units of time in many civilizations are duodecimal. There are twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve months in a year, and the Babylonians had twelve hours in a day (although at some point this was changed to 24). Traditional Chinese calendars, clocks, and compasses are based on the twelve Earthly Branches. There are 12 inches in an imperial foot, 12 troy ounces in a troy pound, 12 old British pence in a shilling, 24 (12×2) hours in a day, and many other items counted by the dozen, gross (144, square of 12) or great gross (1728, cube of 12). The Romans used a fraction system based on 12, including the uncia which became both the English words ounce and inch. Pre-decimalisation, Ireland and the United Kingdom used a mixed duodecimal-vigesimal currency system (12 pence = 1 shilling, 20 shillings or 240 pence to the pound sterling or Irish pound), and Charlemagne established a monetary system that also had a mixed base of twelve and twenty, the remnants of which persist in many places.

Table of units from a base of 12
Relative
value
French unit
of length
English unit
of length
English
(Troy) unit
of weight
Roman unit
of weight
English unit
of mass
120 pied foot pound libra
12−1 pouce inch ounce uncia slinch
12−2 ligne line 2 scruples 2 scrupula slug
12−3 point point seed siliqua

The importance of 12 has been attributed to the number of lunar cycles in a year, and also to the fact that humans have 12 finger bones (phalanges) on one hand (three on each of four fingers).[6][7] It is possible to count to 12 with the thumb acting as a pointer, touching each finger bone in turn. A traditional finger counting system still in use in many regions of Asia works in this way, and could help to explain the occurrence of numeral systems based on 12 and 60 besides those based on 10, 20 and 5. In this system, the one (usually right) hand counts repeatedly to 12, displaying the number of iterations on the other (usually left), until five dozens, i. e. the 60, are full.[8][9]

Notations and pronunciationsEdit

Transdecimal symbolsEdit

In a duodecimal place system twelve is written as 10, but there are numerous proposals for how to write ten and eleven.[10]

To allow entry on typewriters, letters such as A and B (as in hexadecimal), T and E (initials of Ten and Eleven), X and E (X from the Roman numeral for ten), or X and Z are used. Some employ Greek letters such as δ (standing for Greek δέκα 'ten') and ε (for Greek ένδεκα 'eleven'), or τ and ε.[10] Frank Emerson Andrews, an early American advocate for duodecimal, suggested and used in his book New Numbers an X and (script E, U+2130).[11]

Edna Kramer in her 1951 book The Main Stream of Mathematics used a six-pointed asterisk (sextile) and a hash (or octothorpe) #.[10] The symbols were chosen because they are available in typewriters, they also are on push-button telephones.[10] This notation was used in publications of the Dozenal Society of America (DSA) in the period 1974–2008.[12][13]

From 2008 to 2015, the DSA used   and  , the symbols devised by William Addison Dwiggins.[10][14]

The Dozenal Society of Great Britain proposed a rotated digit two (2) and a reversed or rotated digit three (3).[10] This notation was introduced by Sir Isaac Pitman.[15][10][16]

In March 2013, a proposal was submitted to include the digit forms for ten and eleven propagated by the Dozenal Societies in the Unicode Standard.[17] Of these, the British/Pitman forms were accepted for encoding as characters at code points U+218A TURNED DIGIT TWO and U+218B TURNED DIGIT THREE. They were included in the Unicode 8.0 release in June 2015.[18][19] They are available in LaTeX as \textturntwo and \textturnthree.[20]

After the Pitman digits were added to Unicode the DSA took a vote and then began publishing content using the Pitman digits instead.[21] They still use the letters X and E in ASCII text.

Other proposals are more creative or aesthetic; for example, many do not use any Arabic numerals under the principle of "separate identity."[10]

As these Unicode symbols are not rendering in many browsers, this article uses 2 and 3 (physically rotated '2' and '3' glyphs).

Base notationEdit

There are also varying proposals of how to distinguish a duodecimal number from a decimal one.[22] They include italicizing duodecimal numbers "54 = 64", adding a "Humphrey point" (a semicolon ";" instead of a decimal point ".") to duodecimal numbers "54;6 = 64.5", or some combination of the two. Others use subscript or affixed labels to indicate the base, allowing for more than decimal and duodecimal to be represented (for single letters 'z' from "dozenal" is used as 'd' would mean decimal)[22] such as "54z = 64d," "5412 = 6410" or "doz 54 = dec 64."

PronunciationEdit

The Dozenal Society of America suggested the pronunciation of ten and eleven as "dek" and "el". For the names of powers of twelve there are two famous systems.

The do-gro-mo systemEdit

In this system, each order has its own name and the prefix e- is added for fractions.[14][23]

Duodecimal Name Decimal Duodecimal fraction Name
1; one 1
10; do 12 0;1 edo
100; gro 144 0;01 egro
1,000; mo 1,728 0;001 emo
10,000; do-mo 20,736 0;000,1 edo-mo
100,000; gro-mo 248,832 0;000,01 egro-mo
1,000,000; bi-mo 2,985,984 0;000,001 ebi-mo
1,000,000,000; tri-mo 5,159,780,352 0;000,000,001 etri-mo

Multiple digits in this are pronounced differently. 12; is "one do two", 30; is "three do", 100; is "one gro", <span style="display:inline-block; 329; is "el gro dek do nine", <span style="display:inline-block; 38,65<span style="display:inline-block; 2,300; is "el do eight bi-mo, six gro five do dek mo, three gro", and so on.[23]

Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature (SDN)Edit

This system uses "-qua" ending for the positive powers of 12 and "-cia" ending for the negative powers of 12.[24][25]

Duodecimal Name Decimal Duodecimal fraction Name
1; one 1
10; unqua 12 0;1 uncia
100; biqua 144 0;01 bicia
1,000; triqua 1,728 0;001 tricia
10,000; quadqua 20,736 0;000,1 quadcia
100,000; pentqua 248,832 0;000,01 pentcia
1,000,000; hexqua 2,985,984 0;000,001 hexcia
10,000,000; septqua 35,831,808 0;000,000,1 septcia
100,000,000; octqua 429,981,696 0;000,000,01 octcia
1,000,000,000; ennqua 5,159,780,352 0;000,000,001 enncia
10,000,000,000; decqua 61,917,364,224 0;000,000,000,1 deccia
100,000,000,000; levqua 743,008,370,688 0;000,000,000,01 levcia
1,000,000,000,000; unnilqua 8,916,100,448,256 0;000,000,000,001 unnilcia
10,000,000,000,000; ununqua 106,993,205,379,072 0;000,000,000,000,1 ununcia

Advocacy and "dozenalism"Edit

William James Sidis used 12 as the base for his constructed language Vendergood in 1906, noting it being the smallest number with four factors and the prevalence in commerce.[26]

The case for the duodecimal system was put forth at length in F. Emerson Andrews' 1935 book New Numbers: How Acceptance of a Duodecimal Base Would Simplify Mathematics. Emerson noted that, due to the prevalence of factors of twelve in many traditional units of weight and measure, many of the computational advantages claimed for the metric system could be realized either by the adoption of ten-based weights and measure or by the adoption of the duodecimal number system.

 
A duodecimal clockface as in the logo of the Dozenal Society of America, here used to denote musical keys

Both the Dozenal Society of America and the Dozenal Society of Great Britain promote widespread adoption of the base-twelve system. They use the word "dozenal" instead of "duodecimal" to avoid the more overtly base-ten terminology. The etymology of 'dozenal' is itself also an expression based on base-ten terminology since 'dozen' is a direct derivation of the French word 'douzaine' which is a derivative of the French word for twelve, douze which is related to the old French word 'doze' from Latin 'duodecim'.

Since at least as far back as 1945 some members of the Dozenal Society of America and Duodecimal Society of Great Britain have suggested that a more apt word would be 'uncial'. Uncial is a derivation of the Latin word 'one-twelfth' which is 'uncia' and also the base-twelve analogue of the Latin word 'one-tenth' which is 'decima'. In the same manner as decimal comes from the Latin word for one-tenth decima, (Latin for ten was decem), the direct analogue for a base-twelve system is uncial.[27]

Mathematician and mental calculator Alexander Craig Aitken was an outspoken advocate of duodecimal:

The duodecimal tables are easy to master, easier than the decimal ones; and in elementary teaching they would be so much more interesting, since young children would find more fascinating things to do with twelve rods or blocks than with ten. Anyone having these tables at command will do these calculations more than one-and-a-half times as fast in the duodecimal scale as in the decimal. This is my experience; I am certain that even more so it would be the experience of others.

— A. C. Aitken, "Twelves and Tens" in The Listener (January 25, 1962)[28]

But the final quantitative advantage, in my own experience, is this: in varied and extensive calculations of an ordinary and not unduly complicated kind, carried out over many years, I come to the conclusion that the efficiency of the decimal system might be rated at about 65 or less, if we assign 100 to the duodecimal.

— A. C. Aitken, The Case Against Decimalisation (1962)[29]

In Lee Carroll's Kryon: Alchemy of the Human Spirit, a chapter is dedicated to the advantages of the duodecimal system. The duodecimal system is supposedly suggested by Kryon (a fictional entity believed in by New Age circles) for all-round use, aiming at better and more natural representation of nature of the Universe through mathematics. An individual article "Mathematica" by James D. Watt (included in the above publication) exposes a few of the unusual symmetry connections between the duodecimal system and the golden ratio, as well as provides numerous number symmetry-based arguments for the universal nature of the base-12 number system.[30]

In "Little Twelvetoes", American television series Schoolhouse Rock! portrayed an alien child using base-twelve arithmetic, using "dek", "el" and "doh" as names for ten, eleven and twelve, and Andrews' script-X and script-E for the digit symbols.[31]

Duodecimal systems of measurementsEdit

Systems of measurement proposed by dozenalists include:

  • Tom Pendlebury's TGM system[32][25]
  • Takashi Suga's Universal Unit System[33][25]

Comparison to other number systemsEdit

The number 12 has six factors, which are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, of which 2 and 3 are prime. The decimal system has only four factors, which are 1, 2, 5, and 10, of which 2 and 5 are prime. Vigesimal (base 20) adds two factors to those of ten, namely 4 and 20, but no additional prime factor. Although twenty has 6 factors, 2 of them prime, similarly to twelve, it is also a much larger base, and so the digit set and the multiplication table are much larger. Binary has only two factors, 1 and 2, the latter being prime. Hexadecimal (base 16) has five factors, adding 4, 8 and 16 to those of 2, but no additional prime. Trigesimal (base 30) is the smallest system that has three different prime factors (all of the three smallest primes: 2, 3 and 5) and it has eight factors in total (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 15, and 30). Sexagesimal—which the ancient Sumerians and Babylonians among others actually used—adds the four convenient factors 4, 12, 20, and 60 to this but no new prime factors. The smallest system that has four different prime factors is base 210 and the pattern follows the primorials. In all base systems, there are similarities to the representation of multiples of numbers which are one less than the base.

Duodecimal multiplication table
× 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 2 3
1  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 2 3
2 2 4 6 8 2 10 12 14 16 18 12
3 3 6 9 10 13 16 19 20 23 26 29
4 4 8 10 14 18 20 24 28 30 34 38
5 5 2 13 18 21 26 23 34 39 42 47
6 6 10 16 20 26 30 36 40 46 50 56
7 7 12 19 24 23 36 41 48 53 52 65
8 8 14 20 28 34 40 48 54 60 68 74
9 9 16 23 30 39 46 53 60 69 76 83
2 2 18 26 34 42 50 52 68 76 84 92
3 3 12 29 38 47 56 65 74 83 92 21

Conversion tables to and from decimalEdit

To convert numbers between bases, one can use the general conversion algorithm (see the relevant section under positional notation). Alternatively, one can use digit-conversion tables. The ones provided below can be used to convert any duodecimal number between 0.01 and 333,333.33 to decimal, or any decimal number between 0.01 and 999,999.99 to duodecimal. To use them, the given number must first be decomposed into a sum of numbers with only one significant digit each. For example:

123,456.78 = 100,000 + 20,000 + 3,000 + 400 + 50 + 6 + 0.7 + 0.08

This decomposition works the same no matter what base the number is expressed in. Just isolate each non-zero digit, padding them with as many zeros as necessary to preserve their respective place values. If the digits in the given number include zeroes (for example, 102,304.05), these are, of course, left out in the digit decomposition (102,304.05 = 100,000 + 2,000 + 300 + 4 + 0.05). Then the digit conversion tables can be used to obtain the equivalent value in the target base for each digit. If the given number is in duodecimal and the target base is decimal, we get:

(duodecimal) 100,000 + 20,000 + 3,000 + 400 + 50 + 6 + 0;7 + 0;08 = (decimal) 248,832 + 41,472 + 5,184 + 576 + 60 + 6 + 0.583333333333... + 0.055555555555...

Now, because the summands are already converted to base ten, the usual decimal arithmetic is used to perform the addition and recompose the number, arriving at the conversion result:

Duodecimal  ----->  Decimal

  100,000     =    248,832
   20,000     =     41,472
    3,000     =      5,184
      400     =        576
       50     =         60
 +      6     =   +      6
        0;7   =          0.583333333333...
        0;08  =          0.055555555555...
--------------------------------------------
  123,456;78  =    296,130.638888888888...

That is, (duodecimal) 123,456;78 equals (decimal) 296,130.638 ≈ 296,130.64

If the given number is in decimal and the target base is duodecimal, the method is basically same. Using the digit conversion tables:

(decimal) 100,000 + 20,000 + 3,000 + 400 + 50 + 6 + 0.7 + 0.08 = (duodecimal) 49,254 + 3,628 + 1,820 + 294 + 42 + 6 + 0.849724972497249724972497... + 0.036226878130591534320362...

However, in order to do this sum and recompose the number, now the addition tables for the duodecimal system have to be used, instead of the addition tables for decimal most people are already familiar with, because the summands are now in base twelve and so the arithmetic with them has to be in duodecimal as well. In decimal, 6 + 6 equals 12, but in duodecimal it equals 10; so, if using decimal arithmetic with duodecimal numbers one would arrive at an incorrect result. Doing the arithmetic properly in duodecimal, one gets the result:

  Decimal  ----->  Duodecimal

  100,000     =     49,254
   20,000     =      3,628
    3,000     =      1,820
      400     =        294
       50     =         42
 +      6     =   +      6
        0;7   =          0.849724972497249724972497...
        0;08  =          0.036226878130591534320362...
--------------------------------------------------------
  123,456.78  =     53,540.943203622687813059153432...

That is, (decimal) 123,456.78 equals (duodecimal) 53,540;943203622687813059153... ≈ 53,540;94

Duodecimal to decimal digit conversionEdit

Duod. Decimal Duod. Decimal Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec.
1,000,000 2,985,984 100,000 248,832 10,000 20,736 1,000 1,728 100 144 10 12 1 1 0;1 0.083 0;01 0.00694
2,000,000 5,971,968 200,000 497,664 20,000 41,472 2,000 3,456 200 288 20 24 2 2 0;2 0.16 0;02 0.0138
3,000,000 8,957,952 300,000 746,496 30,000 62,208 3,000 5,184 300 432 30 36 3 3 0;3 0.25 0;03 0.02083
4,000,000 11,943,936 400,000 995,328 40,000 82,944 4,000 6,912 400 576 40 48 4 4 0;4 0.3 0;04 0.027
5,000,000 14,929,920 500,000 1,244,160 50,000 103,680 5,000 8,640 500 720 50 60 5 5 0;5 0.416 0;05 0.03472
6,000,000 17,915,904 600,000 1,492,992 60,000 124,416 6,000 10,368 600 864 60 72 6 6 0;6 0.5 0;06 0.0416
7,000,000 20,901,888 700,000 1,741,824 70,000 145,152 7,000 12,096 700 1,008 70 84 7 7 0;7 0.583 0;07 0.04861
8,000,000 23,887,872 800,000 1,990,656 80,000 165,888 8,000 13,824 800 1,152 80 96 8 8 0;8 0.6 0;08 0.05
9,000,000 26,873,856 900,000 2,239,488 90,000 186,624 9,000 15,552 900 1,296 90 108 9 9 0;9 0.75 0;09 0.0625
2,000,000 29,859,840 200,000 2,488,320 20,000 207,360 2,000 17,280 200 1,440 20 120 2 10 0;2 0.83 0;02 0.0694
3,000,000 32,845,824 300,000 2,737,152 30,000 228,096 3,000 19,008 300 1,584 30 132 3 11 0;3 0.916 0;03 0.07638

Decimal to duodecimal digit conversionEdit

Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duod. Dec. Duodecimal
100,000 49,254 10,000 5,954 1,000 634 100 84 10 2 1 1 0.1 0;12497 0.01 0;015343203622687813059
200,000 97,828 20,000 3,628 2,000 1,128 200 148 20 18 2 2 0.2 0;2497 0.02 0;022687813059153432036
300,000 125,740 30,000 15,440 3,000 1,820 300 210 30 26 3 3 0.3 0;37249 0.03 0;043203622687813059153
400,000 173,594 40,000 13,194 4,000 2,394 400 294 40 34 4 4 0.4 0;4972 0.04 0;05915343203622687813
500,000 201,428 50,000 24,328 5,000 2,288 500 358 50 42 5 5 0.5 0;6 0.05 0;07249
600,000 243,280 60,000 22,880 6,000 3,580 600 420 60 50 6 6 0.6 0;7249 0.06 0;087813059153432036226
700,000 299,114 70,000 34,614 7,000 4,074 700 424 70 52 7 7 0.7 0;84972 0.07 0;020362268781305915343
800,000 326,368 80,000 32,368 8,000 4,768 800 568 80 68 8 8 0.8 0;9724 0.08 0;03622687813059153432
900,000 374,200 90,000 44,100 9,000 5,260 900 630 90 76 9 9 0.9 0;29724 0.09 0;103622687813059153432

Divisibility rulesEdit

(In this section, all numbers are written with duodecimal)

This section is about the divisibility rules in duodecimal.

1

Any integer is divisible by 1.

2

If a number is divisible by 2 then the unit digit of that number will be 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 or 2.

3

If a number is divisible by 3 then the unit digit of that number will be 0, 3, 6 or 9.

4

If a number is divisible by 4 then the unit digit of that number will be 0, 4 or 8.

5

To test for divisibility by 5, double the units digit and subtract the result from the number formed by the rest of the digits. If the result is divisible by 5 then the given number is divisible by 5.

This rule comes from 21(5*5)

Examples:
13     rule => |1-2*3| = 5 which is divisible by 5.
2325   rule => |232-2*5| = 230(5*70) which is divisible by 5(or apply the rule on 230).

OR

To test for divisibility by 5, subtract the units digit and triple of the result to the number formed by the rest of the digits. If the result is divisible by 5 then the given number is divisible by 5.

This rule comes from 13(5*3)

Examples:
13     rule => |3-3*1| = 0 which is divisible by 5.
2325   rule => |5-3*232| = 831(5*195) which is divisible by 5(or apply the rule on 831).

OR

Form the alternating sum of blocks of two from right to left. If the result is divisible by 5 then the given number is divisible by 5.

This rule comes from 101, since 101 = 5*25, thus this rule can be also tested for the divisibility by 25.

Example:

97,374,627 => 27-46+37-97 = -73 which is divisible by 5.

6

If a number is divisible by 6 then the unit digit of that number will be 0 or 6.

7

To test for divisibility by 7, triple the units digit and add the result to the number formed by the rest of the digits. If the result is divisible by 7 then the given number is divisible by 7.

This rule comes from 23(7*5)

Examples:
12     rule => |3*2+1| = 7 which is divisible by 7.
2713    rule => |3*3+271| = 292(7*42) which is divisible by 7(or apply the rule on 292).

OR

To test for divisibility by 7, subtract the units digit and double the result from the number formed by the rest of the digits. If the result is divisible by 7 then the given number is divisible by 7.

This rule comes from 12(7*2)

Examples:
12     rule => |2-2*1| = 0 which is divisible by 7.
2713    rule => |3-2*271| = 513(7*89) which is divisible by 7(or apply the rule on 513).

OR

To test for divisibility by 7, 4 times the units digit and subtract the result from the number formed by the rest of the digits. If the result is divisible by 7 then the given number is divisible by 7.

This rule comes from 41(7*7)

Examples:
12     rule => |4*2-1| = 7 which is divisible by 7.
2713    rule => |4*3-271| = 235(7*33) which is divisible by 7(or apply the rule on 235).

OR

Form the alternating sum of blocks of three from right to left. If the result is divisible by 7 then the given number is divisible by 7.

This rule comes from 1001, since 1001 = 7*11*17, thus this rule can be also tested for the divisibility by 11 and 17.

Example:

386,967,443 => 443-967+386 = -168 which is divisible by 7.

8

If the 2-digit number formed by the last 2 digits of the given number is divisible by 8 then the given number is divisible by 8.

Example: 1348, 4120

     rule => since 48(8*7) divisible by 8, then 1348 is divisible by 8.
     rule => since 20(8*3) divisible by 8, then 4120 is divisible by 8.
9

If the 2-digit number formed by the last 2 digits of the given number is divisible by 9 then the given number is divisible by 9.

Example: 7423, 8330

     rule => since 23(9*3) divisible by 9, then 7423 is divisible by 9.
     rule => since 30(9*4) divisible by 9, then 8330 is divisible by 9.
2

If the number is divisible by 2 and 5 then the number is divisible by 2.

3

If the sum of the digits of a number is divisible by 3 then the number is divisible by 3 (the equivalent of casting out nines in decimal).

Example: 29, 61313

     rule => 2+9 = 3 which is divisible by 3, then 29 is divisible by 3.
     rule => 6+1+3+1+3 = 12 which is divisible by 3, then 61313 is divisible by 3.
10

If a number is divisible by 10 then the unit digit of that number will be 0.

11

Sum the alternate digits and subtract the sums. If the result is divisible by 11 the number is divisible by 11 (the equivalent of divisibility by eleven in decimal).

Example: 66, 9427

     rule => |6-6| = 0 which is divisible by 11, then 66 is divisible by 11.
     rule => |(9+2)-(4+7)| = |2-2| = 0 which is divisible by 11, then 9427 is divisible by 11.
12

If the number is divisible by 2 and 7 then the number is divisible by 12.

13

If the number is divisible by 3 and 5 then the number is divisible by 13.

14

If the 2-digit number formed by the last 2 digits of the given number is divisible by 14 then the given number is divisible by 14.

Example: 1468, 7394

     rule => since 68(14*5) divisible by 14, then 1468 is divisible by 14.
     rule => since 94(14*7) divisible by 14, then 7394 is divisible by 14.

Fractions and irrational numbersEdit

FractionsEdit

Duodecimal fractions may be simple:

  • 1/2 = 0.6
  • 1/3 = 0.4
  • 1/4 = 0.3
  • 1/6 = 0.2
  • 1/8 = 0.16
  • 1/9 = 0.14
  • 1/10 = 0.1 (note that this is a twelfth, 1/2 is a tenth)
  • 1/14 = 0.09 (note that this is a sixteenth, 1/12 is a fourteenth)

or complicated:

  • 1/5 = 0.249724972497... recurring (rounded to 0.242)
  • 1/7 = 0.186235186235... recurring (rounded to 0.187)
  • 1/2 = 0.1249724972497... recurring (rounded to 0.125)
  • 1/3 = 0.111111111111... recurring (rounded to 0.111)
  • 1/11 = 0.030303030303... recurring (rounded to 0.031)
  • 1/12 = 0.0235186235186... recurring (rounded to 0.023)
  • 1/13 = 0.0972497249724... recurring (rounded to 0.097)
Examples in duodecimal Decimal equivalent
1 × (5/8) = 0.76 1 × (5/8) = 0.625
100 × (5/8) = 76 144 × (5/8) = 90
576/9 = 76 810/9 = 90
400/9 = 54 576/9 = 64
12.6 + 7.6 = 26 22.5 + 7.5 = 30

As explained in recurring decimals, whenever an irreducible fraction is written in radix point notation in any base, the fraction can be expressed exactly (terminates) if and only if all the prime factors of its denominator are also prime factors of the base. Thus, in base-ten (= 2×5) system, fractions whose denominators are made up solely of multiples of 2 and 5 terminate: 1/8 = 1/(2×2×2), 1/20 = 1/(2×2×5) and 1/500 = 1/(2×2×5×5×5) can be expressed exactly as 0.125, 0.05 and 0.002 respectively. 1/3 and 1/7, however, recur (0.333... and 0.142857142857...). In the duodecimal (= 2×2×3) system, 1/8 is exact; 1/20 and 1/500 recur because they include 5 as a factor; 1/3 is exact; and 1/7 recurs, just as it does in decimal.

The number of denominators which give terminating fractions within a given number of digits, say n, in a base b is the number of factors (divisors) of bn, the nth power of the base b (although this includes the divisor 1, which does not produce fractions when used as the denominator). The number of factors of bn is given using its prime factorization.

For decimal, 10n = 2n * 5n. The number of divisors is found by adding one to each exponent of each prime and multiplying the resulting quantities together. Factors of 10n = (n+1)(n+1) = (n+1)2.

For example, the number 8 is a factor of 103 (1000), so 1/8 and other fractions with a denominator of 8 can not require more than 3 fractional decimal digits to terminate. 5/8 = 0.625ten

For duodecimal, 12n = 22n * 3n. This has (2n+1)(n+1) divisors. The sample denominator of 8 is a factor of a gross (122 = 144), so eighths can not need more than two duodecimal fractional places to terminate. 5/8 = 0.76twelve

Because both ten and twelve have two unique prime factors, the number of divisors of bn for b = 10 or 12 grows quadratically with the exponent n (in other words, of the order of n2).

Recurring digitsEdit

The Dozenal Society of America argues that factors of 3 are more commonly encountered in real-life division problems than factors of 5.[34] Thus, in practical applications, the nuisance of repeating decimals is encountered less often when duodecimal notation is used. Advocates of duodecimal systems argue that this is particularly true of financial calculations, in which the twelve months of the year often enter into calculations.

However, when recurring fractions do occur in duodecimal notation, they are less likely to have a very short period than in decimal notation, because 12 (twelve) is between two prime numbers, 11 (eleven) and 13 (thirteen), whereas ten is adjacent to the composite number 9. Nonetheless, having a shorter or longer period doesn't help the main inconvenience that one does not get a finite representation for such fractions in the given base (so rounding, which introduces inexactitude, is necessary to handle them in calculations), and overall one is more likely to have to deal with infinite recurring digits when fractions are expressed in decimal than in duodecimal, because one out of every three consecutive numbers contains the prime factor 3 in its factorization, whereas only one out of every five contains the prime factor 5. All other prime factors, except 2, are not shared by either ten or twelve, so they do not influence the relative likeliness of encountering recurring digits (any irreducible fraction that contains any of these other factors in its denominator will recur in either base). Also, the prime factor 2 appears twice in the factorization of twelve, whereas only once in the factorization of ten; which means that most fractions whose denominators are powers of two will have a shorter, more convenient terminating representation in duodecimal than in decimal representation (e.g. 1/(22) = 0.25 ten = 0.3 twelve; 1/(23) = 0.125 ten = 0.16 twelve; 1/(24) = 0.0625 ten = 0.09 twelve; 1/(25) = 0.03125 ten = 0.046 twelve; etc.).

Values in bold indicate that value is exact.

Decimal base
Prime factors of the base: 2, 5
Prime factors of one below the base: 3
Prime factors of one above the base: 11
All other primes: 7, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31
Duodecimal base
Prime factors of the base: 2, 3
Prime factors of one below the base: 3
Prime factors of one above the base: 11
All other primes: 5, 7, 15, 17, 13, 25, 27
Fraction Prime factors
of the denominator
Positional representation Positional representation Prime factors
of the denominator
Fraction
1/2 2 0.5 0.6 2 1/2
1/3 3 0.3 0.4 3 1/3
1/4 2 0.25 0.3 2 1/4
1/5 5 0.2 0.2497 5 1/5
1/6 2, 3 0.16 0.2 2, 3 1/6
1/7 7 0.142857 0.186235 7 1/7
1/8 2 0.125 0.16 2 1/8
1/9 3 0.1 0.14 3 1/9
1/10 2, 5 0.1 0.12497 2, 5 1/2
1/11 11 0.09 0.1 3 1/3
1/12 2, 3 0.083 0.1 2, 3 1/10
1/13 13 0.076923 0.03 11 1/11
1/14 2, 7 0.0714285 0.0235186 2, 7 1/12
1/15 3, 5 0.06 0.09724 3, 5 1/13
1/16 2 0.0625 0.09 2 1/14
1/17 17 0.0588235294117647 0.0857921433642927 15 1/15
1/18 2, 3 0.05 0.08 2, 3 1/16
1/19 19 0.052631578947368421 0.076345 17 1/17
1/20 2, 5 0.05 0.07249 2, 5 1/18
1/21 3, 7 0.047619 0.0623518 3, 7 1/19
1/22 2, 11 0.045 0.06 2, 3 1/12
1/23 23 0.0434782608695652173913 0.06316948421 13 1/13
1/24 2, 3 0.0416 0.06 2, 3 1/20
1/25 5 0.04 0.05915343203622687813 5 1/21
1/26 2, 13 0.0384615 0.056 2, 11 1/22
1/27 3 0.037 0.054 3 1/23
1/28 2, 7 0.03571428 0.0518623 2, 7 1/24
1/29 29 0.0344827586206896551724137931 0.0437 25 1/25
1/30 2, 3, 5 0.03 0.04972 2, 3, 5 1/26
1/31 31 0.032258064516129 0.047822093598166374311328623255 27 1/27
1/32 2 0.03125 0.046 2 1/28
1/33 3, 11 0.03 0.04 3, 3 1/29
1/34 2, 17 0.02941176470588235 0.04292708579214336 2, 15 1/22
1/35 5, 7 0.0285714 0.041455933931 5, 7 1/23
1/36 2, 3 0.027 0.04 2, 3 1/30

The duodecimal period length of 1/n are

0, 0, 0, 0, 4, 0, 6, 0, 0, 4, 1, 0, 2, 6, 4, 0, 16, 0, 6, 4, 6, 1, 11, 0, 20, 2, 0, 6, 4, 4, 30, 0, 1, 16, 12, 0, 9, 6, 2, 4, 40, 6, 42, 1, 4, 11, 23, 0, 42, 20, 16, 2, 52, 0, 4, 6, 6, 4, 29, 4, 15, 30, 6, 0, 4, 1, 66, 16, 11, 12, 35, 0, ... (sequence A246004 in the OEIS)

The duodecimal period length of 1/(nth prime) are

0, 0, 4, 6, 1, 2, 16, 6, 11, 4, 30, 9, 40, 42, 23, 52, 29, 15, 66, 35, 36, 26, 41, 8, 16, 100, 102, 53, 54, 112, 126, 65, 136, 138, 148, 150, 3, 162, 83, 172, 89, 90, 95, 24, 196, 66, 14, 222, 113, 114, 8, 119, 120, 125, 256, 131, 268, 54, 138, 280, ... (sequence A246489 in the OEIS)

Smallest prime with duodecimal period n are

11, 13, 157, 5, 22621, 7, 659, 89, 37, 19141, 23, 20593, 477517, 211, 61, 17, 2693651, 1657, 29043636306420266077, 85403261, 8177824843189, 57154490053, 47, 193, 303551, 79, 306829, 673, 59, 31, 373, 153953, 886381, 2551, 71, 73, ... (sequence A252170 in the OEIS)

Irrational numbersEdit

The representations of irrational numbers in any positional number system (including decimal and duodecimal) neither terminate nor repeat. The following table gives the first digits for some important algebraic and transcendental numbers in both decimal and duodecimal.

Algebraic irrational number In decimal In duodecimal
2, the square root of 2 1.414213562373... 1.437917020738...
φ (phi), the golden ratio =   1.618033988749... 1.743367728022...
Transcendental number In decimal In duodecimal
π (pi), the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter 3.141592653589... 3.184809493391...
e, the base of the natural logarithm 2.718281828459... 2.875236069821...

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ George Dvorsky (2013-01-18). "Why We Should Switch To A Base-12 Counting System". Archived from the original on 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  2. ^ Matsushita, Shuji (1998). Decimal vs. Duodecimal: An interaction between two systems of numeration. 2nd Meeting of the AFLANG, October 1998, Tokyo. Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
  3. ^ Mazaudon, Martine (2002). "Les principes de construction du nombre dans les langues tibéto-birmanes". In François, Jacques (ed.). La Pluralité (PDF). Leuven: Peeters. pp. 91–119. ISBN 90-429-1295-2.
  4. ^ von Mengden, Ferdinand (2006). "The peculiarities of the Old English numeral system". In Nikolaus Ritt; Herbert Schendl; Christiane Dalton-Puffer; Dieter Kastovsky (eds.). Medieval English and its Heritage: Structure Meaning and Mechanisms of Change. Studies in English Medieval Language and Literature. 16. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. pp. 125–145.
  5. ^ von Mengden, Ferdinand (2010). Cardinal Numerals: Old English from a Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Topics in English Linguistics. 67. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 159–161.
  6. ^ Pittman, Richard (1990). "Origin of Mesopotamian duodecimal and sexagesimal counting systems". Philippine Journal of Linguistics. 21 (1): 97.
  7. ^ Nishikawa, Yoshiaki (2002). "ヒマラヤの満月と十二進法" [The Full Moon in the Himalayas and the Duodecimal System] (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  8. ^ Ifrah, Georges (2000). The Universal History of Numbers: From prehistory to the invention of the computer. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-39340-1. Translated from the French by David Bellos, E.F. Harding, Sophie Wood and Ian Monk.
  9. ^ Macey, Samuel L. (1989). The Dynamics of Progress: Time, Method, and Measure. Atlanta, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-8203-3796-8.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h De Vlieger, Michael (2010). "Symbology Overview" (PDF). The Duodecimal Bulletin. 4X [58] (2).
  11. ^ Andrews, Frank Emerson (1935). New Numbers: How Acceptance of a Duodecimal (12) Base Would Simplify Mathematics. p. 52.
  12. ^ "Annual Meeting of 1973 and Meeting of the Board" (PDF). The Duodecimal Bulletin. 25 [29] (1). 1974.
  13. ^ De Vlieger, Michael (2008). "Going Classic" (PDF). The Duodecimal Bulletin. 49 [57] (2).
  14. ^ a b "Mo for Megro" (PDF). The Duodecimal Bulletin. 1 (1). 1945.
  15. ^ Pitman, Isaac (ed.): A triple (twelve gross) Gems of Wisdom. London 1860
  16. ^ Pitman, Isaac (1947). "A Reckoning Reform [reprint from 1857]" (PDF). The Duodecimal Bulletin. 3 (2).
  17. ^ Karl Pentzlin (2013-03-30). "Proposal to encode Duodecimal Digit Forms in the UCS" (PDF). ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2, Document N4399. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  18. ^ "The Unicode Standard, Version 8.0: Number Forms" (PDF). Unicode Consortium. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  19. ^ "The Unicode Standard 8.0" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  20. ^ Scott Pakin (2009). "The Comprehensive LATEX Symbol List" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  21. ^ "What should the DSA do about transdecimal characters?". The Dozenal Society of America. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  22. ^ a b Volan, John (July 2015). "Base Annotation Schemes" (PDF). Duodecomal Bulletin. 62.
  23. ^ a b Zirkel, Gene (2010). "How Do You Pronounce Dozenals?" (PDF). The Duodecimal Bulletin. 4E [59] (2).
  24. ^ "Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature and other nomenclature systems" (PDF). The Duodecimal Bulletin. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  25. ^ a b c Goodman, Donald (2016). "Manual of the Dozenal System" (PDF). Dozenal Society of America. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  26. ^ The Prodigy (Biography of WJS) pg [42]
  27. ^ William S. Crosby; "The Uncial Jottings of a Harried Infantryman", The Duodecimal Bulletin, Vol 1 Issue 2, June 1945, Page 9.
  28. ^ A. C. Aitken (January 25, 1962) "Twelves and Tens" The Listener.
  29. ^ A. C. Aitken (1962) The Case Against Decimalisation. Edinburgh / London: Oliver & Boyd.
  30. ^ Carroll, Lee (1995). Kryon—Alchemy of the Human Spirit. The Kryon Writings, Inc. ISBN 0-9636304-8-2.
  31. ^ "SchoolhouseRock - Little Twelvetoes". web.archive.org. 6 February 2010.
  32. ^ Pendlebury, Tom (2012). "TGM: A Coherent Dozenal Metrology" (PDF). The Dozenal Society of Great Britain.
  33. ^ Suga, Takashi (22 May 2019). "Proposal for the Universal Unit System" (PDF).
  34. ^ Michael Thomas De Vlieger (30 November 2011). "Dozenal FAQs" (PDF). The Dozenal Society of America.

Further readingEdit

  • Savard, John J. G. (2018) [2016]. "Changing the Base". quadibloc. Archived from the original on 2018-07-17. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  • Savard, John J. G. (2018) [2005]. "Computer Arithmetic". quadibloc. The Early Days of Hexadecimal. Archived from the original on 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-07-16. (NB. Also has information on duodecimal representations.)

External linksEdit