Getting absoulte values in Python with abs()

Python has a built in function called abs() that is used to find the absolute value from an interget or float value.

Absolute values are values that return a magnitue of a given number. If I put it in more simple tems, magnitue of a number tells us how far they are from zero in the number line.

For negative numbers - sign is not considered.


>>> x, y = -10.11, -10
>>> abs(x)

Like most of python builtins it also has a dunder method __abs__

>>> y = -10
>>> y.__abs__()
>>> 10

Real World Example


Suppose you are given a chart of temprature that has temprature values and you need to find the value that is closest to 0.

class TempratureReader:

    def closest_to_zero(self, readings: List[float]) -> float:

        result = readings[0]

        for reading in readings:
            if abs(reading) < abs(result):
                result = reading
            elif abs(reading) == abs(result):
                result = max(result, reading )

        return result
>>> t = TempratureReader()
>>> t.closest_to_zero([10.11,-35.11,22.11, -2.1, -1.1, 1.1])
>>> 1.1

absoulte values of other types

>>> num = complex(3, 10)
>>> num
>>> (3+10j)
>>> abs(num)
>>> 10.44030650891055