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identity element

noun, Mathematics
1.
identity (def 9b).
Origin
1900-1905
1900-05
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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identity element in Science
identity element
  (ī-děn'tĭ-tē)   
The element of a set of numbers that when combined with another number under a particular binary operation leaves the second number unchanged. For example, 0 is the identity element under addition for the real numbers, since for any real number a, a + 0 = a, and 1 is the identity element under multiplication for the real numbers, since a × 1 = a.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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