## 16 Arithmetic and Arbitrary-Precision Arithmetic with `gawk`

¶

This chapter introduces some basic concepts relating to
how computers do arithmetic and defines some important terms.
It then proceeds to describe floating-point arithmetic,
which is what `awk`

uses for all its computations, including a
discussion of arbitrary-precision floating-point arithmetic, which is
a feature available only in `gawk`

. It continues on to present
arbitrary-precision integers, and concludes with a description of some
points where `gawk`

and the POSIX standard are not quite in
agreement.

**NOTE:** Most users of `gawk`

can safely skip this chapter.
But if you want to do scientific calculations with `gawk`

,
this is the place to be.