CM-UY 1004 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Significant Figures, Decimal Mark, Scientific Notation

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20 Sep 2016

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This type of expression is called scientific notation. Some easy examples of the scientific notation are provided below: 1 = 1x100. In the case of numbers smaller than one, the exponent becomes negative, and that negative value represents how many zeroes there are between the number and the decimal place: significant figures, defining significant figures. No experimental measurement can be possibly perfectly precise. Take for example, a wooden stick that is approximately two meters long. If a scientist were to measure that stick with a ruler marked only with meters, then he could only conclude with certainty that the stick measured 1 meter (though of course he would recognize that his measurement was inexact). If his ruler was marked with decimeters, then he could see with certainty that the stick measured 1. 1 meters. If he could measure centimeters, he might see that the stick actually measured 1. 12 meters.