A real datum is an approximation of a real number. The real data type, REAL, which usually has the synonym, REAL*4, holds one real datum.

The usual default size for a REAL item with no size specified is 4 bytes, and is aligned on 4-byte boundaries. However, these defaults can be changed by compiling with certain special options.

A REAL element has a sign bit, an 8-bit exponent, and a 23-bit fraction. These REAL elements in f77 conform to the IEEE standard.

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