# Equal Sign – Definition with Examples

Welcome to Brighterly, where mathematics comes alive for children! Today, we’re demystifying the equal sign, a cornerstone of numerical understanding. This unassuming pair of parallel lines might seem simple, but it holds profound significance in the mathematical world. Whether you’re tallying apples, calculating distances, or resolving algebraic equations, you’re bound to encounter this ubiquitous symbol. Here, at Brighterly, we believe in empowering young minds by breaking down complex concepts into digestible nuggets of knowledge. So let’s explore together the meaning, history, and applications of the equal sign!

## What Does the Equal Sign Mean?

An equal sign (‘=’) is a mathematical symbol that denotes the quality of being identical or equivalent. It’s an integral part of math equations, expressing that the values or expressions on both sides of the equal sign have the same value or meaning. Used universally in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and more, the equal sign serves as a critical bridge, establishing a relation between different entities. Children start learning about this symbol in primary school, and it remains a fundamental aspect of their mathematical journey, from simple sums to complex equations.

## The History of the Equal Sign

The equal sign first made its appearance in the 16th century. Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde introduced the symbol in 1557 as a way to avoid writing the words “is equal to” in his equations. He chose two parallel lines of equal length to represent equality, symbolizing the balance inherent in the concept of equivalence. The simplicity and effectiveness of this symbol have stood the test of time, becoming a universally recognized symbol in mathematics.

## Using “Equal To” in an Equation

The equal sign is the backbone of an equation, delineating the left and right-hand sides. It expresses that what is on the left of the equal sign is the same value or quantity as what is on the right. For example, in the equation `2 + 2 = 4`, the `2 + 2` and `4` are exactly the same amount. The use of the equal sign in equations helps us understand the relationships between different quantities, solve problems, and predict outcomes in various situations.

In measurement, the equal sign helps us understand equality in terms of length, weight, volume, or other physical attributes. For instance, when we say `1 meter = 100 centimeters`, it signifies that one meter and one hundred centimeters represent the same length. This aspect of the equal sign forms the basis of unit conversion, a fundamental concept in physics and chemistry.

The equal sign is just as essential in fractions as it is in whole numbers. It allows us to express that two fractions have the same value. For example, the statement `1/2 = 2/4` illustrates that one half is equivalent to two quarters, even though they appear different. Thus, the equal sign helps us recognize and understand equivalent fractions.

## Difference between the Equal Sign and the Equal Sign with Three Lines

While an equal sign indicates that two quantities are identical, the equal sign with three lines (‘≡’), known as the “identity” or “identical to” sign, signifies an even deeper relationship. It’s used to indicate that two mathematical expressions are identical in form and value, regardless of the variables involved. This is frequently used in more advanced mathematics, such as algebra.

## Equal Sign with Slash

The equal sign with a slash through it (‘≠’) represents inequality. This symbol, known as the “not equal to” sign, signifies that the quantities or expressions on either side of the symbol are not equal. For example, `5 ≠ 3` means that five is not equal to three.

## Solved Examples on Equal Sign

Let’s see some solved examples on equal signs:

1. `5 + 3 = 8`. This means that the sum of five and three is equal to eight.
2. `3 * 4 = 12`. This implies that the product of three and four is twelve.
3. `10 ≠ 7`. This signifies that ten is not equal to seven.

## Practice Problems on Equal Sign

Now, it’s your turn to practice! Solve these problems:

1. `7 + 6 = ?`
2. `9 * 3 = ?`
3. Is `5 ≠ 5` true or false?

## Conclusion

Understanding the concept of equality represented by the equal sign is instrumental in the journey of mathematical learning. The equal sign, a symbol as simple as two parallel lines, unlocks a world of relationships and balances. As we’ve seen, it’s more than just an expression of sameness; it’s a way to connect and compare quantities, measurements, fractions, and algebraic expressions. Our exploration at Brighterly only scratches the surface of this fascinating symbol. As children dive deeper into mathematics, the equal sign will continuously evolve in its role, guiding them through increasingly complex equations and inequalities. Stay curious, continue exploring, and remember – at Brighterly, every math symbol is a key to unlock new realms of understanding!

## Frequently Asked Questions on Equal Sign

### What does ‘=’ mean in an equation?

The equal sign in an equation plays a pivotal role. It acts as a balance point, demonstrating that the values or expressions on both sides of the sign have the same value or meaning. For example, in the equation `5 + 3 = 8`, the equal sign denotes that the sum of five and three (which is eight) is equivalent to the number eight on the other side of the sign.

### Who invented the equal sign?

The equal sign was a creation of the Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde in the 16th century. Recorde wanted to avoid the repetitive writing of the words “is equal to” in his mathematical treatises, so he opted for a more straightforward symbol, the equal sign. He chose two parallel lines of the same length to represent equality, symbolizing the perfect balance inherent in the concept of equivalence.

### What does ‘≡’ mean?

The symbol ‘≡’, which is an equal sign with three lines, is known as the identity or identical to sign. This symbol indicates a deeper level of equality than the standard equal sign. It signifies that two mathematical expressions are identical in form and value, regardless of the variables involved. For instance, in algebra, if we say `2(a + b) ≡ 2a + 2b`, we mean that these two expressions are identical for any values of ‘a’ and ‘b’.

### What does ‘≠’ represent?

The symbol ‘≠’, an equal sign with a slash through it, denotes the opposite of equality: inequality. It signifies that the quantities or expressions on either side of the symbol are not equal in value or meaning. For example, the statement `10 ≠ 7` means that ten is not equal to seven.

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