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# Scientific Notation with

Significant Figures
Try these:

• 3.21 x 10 2
• 321
Try these

## • 0.0000527 • 5.27 x10 -5

• 0.0000005 • 5.0 x 10 -7
9
Try these

## • 1.09 x10 5 • 109,000

• 5.2273 x 10 • 52,273
4

• 9.42 x 10 -3 • 0.00942
Significant Figures
What is a significant figure?
• There are 2 kinds of numbers:
–Exact: the amount of
Known with certainty.
What is a significant figure?

–Approximate: weight,
height—anything
MEASURED. No
measurement is perfect.
When to use Significant figures

• When a measurement is
recorded only those
digits that are
dependable are written
down.
When to use Significant figures

## –If you measured the width

of a paper with your ruler
you might record 21.7cm.
To a mathematician 21.70,
or 21.700 is the same.
• 21.700cm to a scientist
means the measurement
is accurate to within one
thousandth of a cm.
• If you used an ordinary
ruler, the smallest
marking is the mm, so
to be recorded as
21.7cm.
• It is important to be honest when reporting a
measurement, so that it does not appear to
be more accurate than the equipment used to
make the measurement allows.

## • We can achieve this by controlling the number

of digits, or significant figures, used to report
the measurement.
Which numbers are Significant?

## How to count them!

Non-Zero integers
• Always count as significant figures

## 1235 has 4 significant digits

Zeros – there are 3 types
The first significant figure in a measurement
is the first digit other than zero counting
from left to right
0.0045g
(4 is the 1st sig. fig.)
“0.00” are place holders.
The zeros are not significant
Captive zeros

## Zeros within a number at always significant –

30.0809 g
All digits are significant
Trailing zeros – at the end of numbers but to the right of the
decimal point

## 2.00 g - has 3 sig. digits (what this means is that

the measuring instrument can measure exactly to two
decimal places.

## Zeros are significant if a number contains decimals

Exact Numbers
Are numbers that are not obtained by
measuring

## Referred to as counting numbers

EX : 12 apples, 100 people
Exact Numbers
Also arise by definition

## Are referred to as conversion factors that allow

for the expression of a value using two
different units
Significant Figures

## Rules for sig figs.:

•Count the number of digits in a measurement from left to
right:
•Do not count place-holder zeros.

## •The rules for significant digits apply only to measurements

and not to exact numbers
Determining Significant Figures
State the number of significant figures in the following measurements:

2005 cm 4 0.050 cm 2

25,000 g 2 0.0280 g 3

25.0 ml 3 50.00 ml 4

0.25 s 2 1000 s 1

## 0.00250 mol 3 1000. mol 4

Rounding Numbers
• To express answer in correctly

## • Only use the first number to the right of the

last significant digit
Rounding
• Always carry the extra digits through the final
result
• Then round
EX:
Answer is 1.331 rounds to 1.3
OR
1.356 rounds to 1.4
Significant Figures
Rounding off sig figs (significant figures):

Rule 1: If the first non-sig fig is less than 5, drop all non-sig fig.
Rule 2: If the first sig fig is 5, or greater than 5, increase the last
sig fig by 1 and drop all non-sig figs.

## 12.514748 12.5 0.6015261 0.602

192.49032 192 14652.832 14,700
When a number ends in zero
but contains no decimal place,
the zeros may or may not be
significant. We use scientific
(aka exponential) notation to
specify.
•7000 kg may have 1, 2, 3 or 4
sig figs!
Math Problems w/Sig Figs

## When combining measurements with

different degrees of accuracy and precision,
the accuracy of the final answer can be no
greater than the least accurate
measurement.
This principle can be translated into a simple rule

## When measurements are added or subtracted,

the answer can contain no more decimal
places than the least accurate measurement.
Significant Figures

## Adding and subtracting sig figs - your

answer must be limited to the value with
the greatest uncertainty.

## 150.0 g H2O (using significant figures)

0.507 g salt 150.5 g solution
150.5 g solution

## 150.0 is the least precise so the answer will have

no more than one place to the right of the
decimal.
Example
Answer will have the same number of decimal places as the
least precise measurement used.

12.11 cm
18.0 cm
1.013 cm
31.132 cm
9.62 cm
71.875 cm
Correct answer would be 71.9 cm – the last sig fig is “8”, so you
will round using only the first number to the right of the last
significant digit which is “7”.
Significant Figures
limited to the measurement with the least number of sig figs.

## 5.15 3 sig figs

X 2.3 2 sig figs
11.845 only allowed 2 sig figs
so 11.845 5 sig fig
is rounded to 12 2 sig figs
Multiplication and Division
Answer will be rounded to the same number of
significant figures as the component with the
fewest number of significant figures.

## 4.56 cm x 1.4 cm = 6.38 cm2

= 6.4 cm2
28.0 inches 2.54 cm
x 1 inch = 71.12 cm

## Computed measurement is 71.12 cm

multiplication/division appear in the same problem

## • In addition/subtraction the number of significant digits is limited by the

value of greatest uncertainty.

## • In multiplication/division, the number of significant digits is limited by the

value with the fewest significant digits.

• Since the rules are different for each type of operation, when they both
occur in the same problem,

## – complete the first operation and establish the correct number of

significant digits.

– Then proceed with the second and set the final answer according to
the correct number of significant digits based on that operation
(1.245 + 6.34 + 8.179)/7.5

1.245 + 6.34 + 8.179 =

## Then divide by 7.5 =

Sig Figs In Calculations

• Mult/Div: Answer must contain the same number of sig figs as there are in the measurement with the
least number of sig figs.

• Add/Sub: Round answer to the same number of decimal places as there are in the measurement
with the fewest decimal places.
1. The term that is related to the reproducibility (repeatability) of a
measurement is
a. accuracy.
b. precision.
Let’s take a “Quiz”
c. qualitative.
d. quantitative. b. precision.
e. property.

## 2. The number of significant figures in the mass measured as 0.010210 g is

a. 1.
b. 2.
c. 3.
d. 4.
e. 5. e. 5.

47
-4
3. The number of significant figures in 6.0700 x 10 … is
a. 3.
b. 4.
c. 5.
d. 6. c. 5.
e. 7.

## 4. How many significant figures are there in the value 0.003060?

a. 7
b. 6
c. 5
d. 4
e. 3

d. 4

48
1. Convert each of the following into scientific
notation.
a. 727 ___________________________________
b. 172000 _______________________________
c. 0.000984 ______________________________
d. 200.0 x 102 ____________________________
e. 0.014 x 102 ____________________________
f. 2560000000000000000000000000000000
____________________________________
(use 4 sig. fig. for the last one)
2. Convert each into decimal form.
a. 1.56 x
104_______________________________
b. 3.6 x 10-2
________________________________
c. 736.9 x 105
_______________________________
d. 0.0059 x 105
______________________________
e. 0.00059 x 10-1
_____________________________
3. Calculate the following. Give the
notation.

## a. 313.0 - 1.2 x 103

____________________________
4. Calculate the following. Give
notation.
a. 8.95 x 1076/ 1.25 x 1056
_________________________
b. (4.5 x 1029)(2.45 x 10100)
_________________________
5. Give the number of significant
figures in each of the following.
a. 1.05 g ______
b. 0.90 x 1045 L ______
c. 0.0003040 mm ______
d . the number of eggs that make up
a dozen ______
e. 29000 + 10 ft ______
6. Determine the answer for each of
the following. Be sure to use the
correct number of significant
figures.
a. 17.34 + 4.900 + 23.1 _____________
b. 9.80
c. 3.9 x 6.05 x 420 _________________
d. 14.1 / 5______________________
7. Round each of the following to 3
significant figures.
a. 77.0653 _______________
b. 6,300,178.2 ______________
c. 0.00023350 _____________
d. 10.2030 _________________
e. 2.895 x 1021 _____________
Calculations
1. 165.86 g + 4.091g - 140 g + 27.32 g
2. (35.6 L + 2.4 L) / 4.083 =
3. 2.524 x (16.408 m – 3.88 m) =

## Answers: 57g 9.31 L 31.62 m

1. Convert each of the following into scientific notation.
a. 7.27 x 102
b. 1.72000 x 105
c. 9.84 x 10-4
d. 2.000 x 104
e. 1.4
f. 2.560 x 1033
2. Convert each into decimal form.
a. 15600
b. 0.036
c. 73,690,000
d. 590
e. 0.000059
3. Calculate the following. Give the answer in correct scientific
notation.
a. - 8.87 x 102
4. Calculate the following. Give the answer in correct scientific
notation.
a. 7.16 x 1020 b) 1.1025 x 10130
5. Give the number of significant figures in each of the following.
a. 1.05 g 3
b. 0.0003040 mm 4
c. 29000 + 10 ft 4
d. 0.90 x 1045 L 2
e. the number of eggs (12) that make up a dozen infinite
6. Determine the answer for each of the following. Be sure to use the
correct number of significant
figures.
a. 45.3
b. 5.04
c. 9.9 x 103
d. 3
7. Round each of the following to 3 significant figures.
a. 77.1 d. 6.30 x 106
b. 0.000234 e. 10.2
c. 2.90 x 1021