Ordinary multiplication of numbers is just repeated addition. To multiply a number \(a\) by a number \(b\), simply add together \(b\) copies of \(a\). For instance, \(2\times 3\) is just \(2+2+2\). We call the result of a multiplication the product, and we call the numbers being multiplied together the multiplicands.
Multiplication of natural numbers is formally defined by the Peano Axioms.
Multiplication of ordinary numbers is commutative and associative. However, in more abstract settings a notion of multiplication may be defined in which commutativity and/or associativity do not hold. Multiplication also has distinct properties for transfinite ordinals and cardinals.
- [MLA] “multiplication.” Platonic Realms Interactive Mathematics Encyclopedia. Platonic Realms, 30 Mar 2013. Web. 30 Mar 2013. <http://platonicrealms.com/>
- [APA] multiplication (30 Mar 2013). Retrieved 30 Mar 2013 from the Platonic Realms Interactive Mathematics Encyclopedia: http://platonicrealms.com/encyclopedia/multiplication/