Scientific Figures..? ?
I was wondering if you could explain to me about how to figure out Scientific Figures. I have a tset tommorrow and my teacher did a really bad explaination of it.
Thank You (:
- shinsplints99Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Well, you've got two different terms combined here.
There's scientific notation:
In scientific notation:
1.5 x 10^6
To convert a number from "normal" notation to scientific notation, move the decimal to the right of the left most non-zero digit. If to do this you moved to the left, the exponent on x 10 (times 10) is positive and equivalent to the number of spaces you moved the decimal. If to do this you moved to the right, the exponent on x 10 is negative and equivalent to the number of spaces you moved the decimal.
When adding or subtracting:
10.79 + 1.983 = 12.773, but you only have 2 significant figures after the decimal, so the answer rounds to 12.77.
You use the smaller number of decimal places.
10.79 - 1.983 = 8.807, must be rounded to 2 decimal places, so, 8.81
When multiplying or dividing:
1.2 x 3.983 = 4.7796
1.2 has 2 significant figures
3.983 has 4 significant figure
Use the fewer number of sig figs in your answer
Answer becomes: 4.8 (4.7796 rounded to 2 sig figs)
1.200 has 4 sig figs
3.983 has 4 sig figs
1.200 x 3.983 = 4.7796 Rounded to 4 sig figs = 4.780
3.995 divided by .500
3.995 has 4 sig figs
.500 has 3 sig figs
answer will have 3 sig figs
10 has 1 sig fig
10. has 2 sig figs
10.0 has 3 sig figs
.1 has 1 sig fig
.10 has 2 sig figs
.1000000 has 7 sig figs
Placement of the decimal point and zeros plays a big roll in determining the number of significant figures.
10 without a decimal point only has 1 sig fig, the zero is simply a place holder.
Adding the decimal point makes the zero have meaning. It means the accuracy is know to the ones column.
Here are some good online lessons: