I want to preface this by saying I'm an absolute programming beginner, so please excuse how basic this question is.
I'm trying to get a better understanding of "atomic" classes in R and maybe this goes for classes in programming in general. I understand the difference between a character, logical, and complex data classes, but I'm struggling to find the fundamental difference between a numeric class and an integer class.
Let's say I have a simple vector x <- c(4, 5, 6, 6) of integers, it would make sense for this to be an integer class. But when I do class(x) I get  "numeric". Then if I convert this vector to an integer class x <- as.integer(x). It returns the same exact list of numbers except the class is different.
My question is why is this the case, and why the default class for a set of integers is a numeric class, and what are the advantages and or disadvantages of having an integer set as numeric instead of an integer.