# Interval (mathematics)

## All numbers between two given numbers / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In mathematics, a (**real**) **interval** is the set of all real numbers lying between two fixed endpoints with no "gaps". Each endpoint is either a real number or positive or negative infinity, indicating the interval extends without a bound. An interval can contain neither endpoint, either endpoint, or both endpoints.

For example, the set of real numbers consisting of 0, 1, and all numbers in between is an interval, denoted [0, 1] and called the unit interval; the set of all positive real numbers is an interval, denoted (0, ∞); the set of all real numbers is an interval, denoted (−∞, ∞); and any single real number a is an interval, denoted [*a*, *a*].

Intervals are ubiquitous in mathematical analysis. For example, they occur implicitly in the epsilon-delta definition of continuity; the intermediate value theorem asserts that the image of an interval by a continuous function is an interval; integrals of real functions are defined over an interval; etc.

Interval arithmetic consists of computing with intervals instead of real numbers for providing a guaranteed enclosure of the result of a numerical computation, even in the presence of uncertainties of input data and rounding errors.

Intervals are likewise defined on an arbitrary totally ordered set, such as integers or rational numbers. The notation of integer intervals is considered in the special section below.