FAQ: Learn Python - Practice Makes Perfect - product

This community-built FAQ covers the “product” exercise in Codecademy’s lessons on Python.

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im getting in trouble answering all of this, for example in this one, dont understand why it has a total = 1

When adding, we would set it to zero so as not to affect the total. When multiplying we set it to unity (1), also so as not to affect the product. If it was set to zero, the outcome would always be zero.

1 * a * b * c => a * b * c

This topic got me to thinking about arithmetic identities and lead me to compose a post on the additive identity, alluded to above, and which brings us to the multiplicative identity, which is as shown, 1. Any number when multiplied by this will yield a product that is the same number.

A finite sequence of multiplied numbers starting with, 1 and not containing any zeroes will be unchanged if that number is removed from the sequence.

1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 == 2 * 3 * 4 * 5

Just as the additive inverse of a number yields zero, the multiplicative inverse of a number yields unity. So it is the reciprocal, 1 / n * n == 1, of that number.

Zero and unity are the basis of number properties so expect to see them a lot moving forward.