1. php
  2. /basics
  3. /numbers

Introduction to PHP numbers


In PHP, numbers are used to represent numeric values. In PHP, numbers can be represented in several different ways.

  1. Integers: These are whole numbers that can be positive, negative, or zero. They can be represented in decimal (base 10), hexadecimal (base 16) or octal (base 8) notation. Integers are stored in a fixed amount of bytes, the size of the integer depends on the server's platform.

  2. Floating-point numbers: These are numbers that can have a decimal point and can be positive, negative, or zero. They are also known as floating-point numbers or "floats." They are stored as a fixed-precision number, and their precision depends on the server's platform.

  3. Scientific Notation: Scientific notation is a way of representing numbers that are very large or very small. For example, 1.23e5 (123,000) or 3.14e-2 (0.0314). They can be represented using the float data type.

  4. Octal and Hexadecimal: Octal and hexadecimal are ways of representing numbers using base 8 and base 16, respectively. Octal numbers start with a 0 and hexadecimal numbers start with 0x. For example, 077 (63 in decimal) or 0xFF (255 in decimal). They can be represented using the int data type.


$integer = 42;
$floating = 3.14;

In the example above, $integer is an integer, and $floating is a floating-point number. In PHP, you can perform mathematical operations on numbers like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using the appropriate operators such as +, -, *, and / respectively.


// Integer
$age = 25;

// Floating-point
$pi = 3.14159265;

// Addition
$sum = $age + 10;
echo "Sum: " . $sum . "<br>"; // Output: Sum: 35

// Subtraction
$difference = $age - 5;
echo "Difference: " . $difference . "<br>"; // Output: Difference: 20

// Multiplication
$product = $age * 2;
echo "Product: " . $product . "<br>"; // Output: Product: 50

// Division
$quotient = $age / 3;
echo "Quotient: " . $quotient . "<br>"; // Output: Quotient: 8.33333333333333

// Modulus
$remainder = $age % 3;
echo "Remainder: " . $remainder . "<br>"; // Output: Remainder: 1

// Exponentiation
$power = pow($age, 2);
echo "Power: " . $power . "<br>"; // Output: Power: 625

// Rounding
$rounded = round($pi, 2);
echo "Rounded: " . $rounded . "<br>"; // Output: Rounded: 3.14


In this example, the $age variable is an integer, and the $pi variable is a floating-point number. The code uses various mathematical operators to perform operations on the numbers, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, modulus, exponentiation, and rounding. The result of each operation is then displayed using the echo statement.

Best Practices

  1. Use integers for whole numbers and floating-point numbers for numbers that have a decimal point.

  2. Be aware of the precision of floating-point numbers, as they may not always give exact results.

  3. If you need precise calculations such as monetary calculations, it is best to use the bcmath or gmp extension in PHP

  4. When working with numbers, use consistent notation throughout your code to make it easy to understand and maintain.

  5. PHP has built-in functions for performing mathematical operations, such as round(), pow(), and sqrt(). Use these functions instead of writing your own code.

  6. When converting one data type to another, use explicit casting to ensure that the conversion is done correctly.

  7. Avoid using numbers as strings, as it can lead to unexpected results when performing mathematical operations.

  8. Be aware of the maximum and minimum values that a number can hold and handle them accordingly.