Float

Ruby calls decimal numbers Floats. To create a Float rather than an Integer, just make sure to include a decimal point:

5.class # => Integer
5.0.class # => Float

Methods

+ - * / ** (math)

The math methods work mostly like you’d expect, and similarly to the ones for integers.

The main difference to keep in mind is with /. Division with floats works the way that we’re used to — it returns fractional results, as a Float:

12.0 / 5.0 # => 2.4

Try the following and see what you get:

12 / 5
12.0 / 5
12 / 5.0

What did you discover? If either side is a float, float division will be performed.

This is why Integer’s .to_f method can come in handy while doing math; at some point if you need to do division and need a fractional answer, then convert it to a Float first.

One other thing to keep in mind: you can use ** in conjunction with fractions to calculate roots, since 91/2 is the same as the square root of 9, 81/3 is the same as the cube root of 8, etc.

9 ** 0.5 # => 3.0
8 ** (1/3.0) # => 2.0

round

Floats can round themselves. Play around with the .round method:

rand

The rand method that we met earlier can also be called with no arguments, in which case it returns a Float between 0 and 1. This is very handy for e.g. probabilities. Give it a try: