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Significant digits

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Significant digits

1.Non-zero digits are ALWAYS significant.

Example- 123456789

2.Zeros that are between other significant digits are ALWAYS significant.

Example- 3004

3.Final zeros that occur before or after the decimal are ALWAYS significant.

Example- 78.00

4.Zeros used for spacing the decimal are NOT significant.

Example- 0.003

28040.00305

2.8430.24

0.00296.89

4.6 X 1040.001

75.006.0

50000123.056

360100.04

When you have numbers to add/subtract you will sometimes need your answer to have the correct number of significant digits. Here is the rule:

Look at all of the numbers to add/subtract and find the number with the LEAST number of sig. digs. AFTER the decimal. This is how many sig. digs. should be after the decimal in your answer.

Example -24.686

2.343

3.21

30.239

ANSWER = 30.24

When you have numbers to multiply/divide you will sometimes need your answer to have the correct number of significant digits. Here is the rule:

Look at all of the numbers to multiply/divide and find the number with the LEAST number of sig. digs. This is how many sig. digs. that you should have in your answer.

Example - 3.22 x 2.1 = 6.762

ANSWER = 6.8

- 1.2 + 1.26 =
- 2.46
- Final Answer: 2.5

- 2.46
- 2.476-1.72 =
- 0.756
- Final Answer: 0.76

- 0.756
- 10.72694321 – 10.1 =
- 0.62694321
- Final Answer: 0.6

- 0.62694321

- 1.53 x 2.5
- 3.825
- Final Answer: 3.8

- 3.825
- 10.0 / 5.0 =
- 2
- Final Answer: 2.0

- 2
- 10.2 x 1000
- 102,000
- Final Answer: 10.2 x 10³

- 102,000