Difference between float and double in C/C++

2

For representing floating point numbers, we use float, double and long double.

What’s the difference ?

double has 2x more precision then float.

float is a 32 bit IEEE 754 single precision Floating Point Number1 bit for the sign, (8 bits for the exponent, and 23* for the value), i.e. float has 7 decimal digits of precision.

double is a 64 bit IEEE 754 double precision Floating Point Number (1 bit for the sign, 11 bits for the exponent, and 52* bits for the value), i.e. double has 15 decimal digits of precision.

Let’s take a example(example taken from here) :
For a quadratic equation x2 ? 4.0000000 x + 3.9999999 = 0, the exact roots to 10 significant digits are, r1 = 2.000316228 and r2 = 1.999683772

// C program to demonstrate 
// double and float precision values

#include <stdio.h>
#include <math.h>

// utility function which calculate roots of 
// quadratic equation using double values
void double_solve(double a, double b, double c){
    double d = b*b - 4.0*a*c;
    double sd = sqrt(d);
    double r1 = (-b + sd) / (2.0*a);
    double r2 = (-b - sd) / (2.0*a);
    printf("%.5f\t%.5f\n", r1, r2);
}

// utility function which calculate roots of 
// quadratic equation using float values
void float_solve(float a, float b, float c){
    float d = b*b - 4.0f*a*c;
    float sd = sqrtf(d);
    float r1 = (-b + sd) / (2.0f*a);
    float r2 = (-b - sd) / (2.0f*a);
    printf("%.5f\t%.5f\n", r1, r2);
}   

// driver program
int main(){
    float fa = 1.0f;
    float fb = -4.0000000f;
    float fc = 3.9999999f;
    double da = 1.0;
    double db = -4.0000000;
    double dc = 3.9999999;

    printf("roots of equation x2 ? 4.0000000 x + 3.9999999 = 0 are : \n");
    printf("for float values: \n");
    float_solve(fa, fb, fc);

    printf("for double values: \n");
    double_solve(da, db, dc);
    return 0;
}  

Output:

roots of equation x2 ? 4.0000000 x + 3.9999999 = 0 are : 
for float values: 
2.00000	2.00000
for double values: 
2.00032	1.99968

This article is contributed by Mandeep Singh. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using contribute.geeksforgeeks.org or mail your article to contribute@geeksforgeeks.org. See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

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