# Absolute Value Calculator

## Calculator Use

Use this calculator to find the absolute value of numbers. Enter positive or negative whole numbers or decimals.

## What is Absolute Value?

The absolute value of a number can be thought of as the distance to that number from 0 on a number line. Whether the number is positive or negative does not matter because absolute value tells you the magnitude of the number relative to zero.

The symbol for absolute value is

| x |

where | x | = x, and | -x | = x.

Imagine you have a number line and you mark the positions -5 and 5. The distance from zero to -5 is 5 units, just as the distance from zero to 5 is also 5 units. Therefore, | 5 | = 5 and | -5 | = 5.

Note that the absolute value always results in a non-negative value, except for | 0 |. The absolute value of zero is just zero, which is neither positive or negative.

## Absolute Value in Writing Code

In computer programming absolute value is often described as a function that "returns the distance from zero." This function can be applied to variables and expressions as well.

For example, the absolute value of the expression | x - 3 | represents the distance between x and 3 on a number line. The absolute value function ensures that the result is always positive regardless of the value of x.

## Example Absolute Values

The absolute value of 9 is 9, written | 9 | = 9

The absolute value of -9 is 9, written | -9 | = 9

The absolute value of 0 is 0, written | 0 | = 0