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Significant Figures. Used to report all precisely known numbers + one estimated digit. Rule #1. Every nonzero digit is significant Examples: 24 = 2 3.56 = 3 7 = 1. How many Significant Figures are in the number 3994 g. 4 5 2 One million! 0. Rule #2.

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significant figures

Significant Figures

Used to report all precisely known numbers + one estimated digit

rule 1
Rule #1
  • Every nonzero digit is significant

Examples:

24 = 2

3.56 = 3

7 = 1

rule 2
Rule #2
  • Zeros between non-zeros are significant

Examples:

7003 = 4

40.9 = 3

rule 3
Rule #3
  • Zeros appearing in front of non-zero digits are not significant
      • Act as placeholders
      • Can’t be dropped, show magnitude

Examples:

0.00024 = 2

0.453 = 3

rule 4
Rule #4
  • Zeros at the end of a number and to the right of a decimal point are significant.

Examples:

43.00 = 4

1.010 = 4

1.50 = 3

rule 5
Rule #5
  • Zeros at the end of a number and to the left of a decimal point aren’t significant

Examples:

300 = 1

27,300 = 3

special rule
Special Rule
  • Always remember PA

P

A

If a decimal point is present, start on the Pacific (P) side and begin counting at the first non-zero digit all the way to the end.

If a decimal is absent, start on the Atlantic (A) side and begin counting at the first non-zero digit all the way to the end.

special rule cont
Special Rule (cont.)
  • Remember PA

Examples:

123.003 = decimal present, start on “P” side, begin counting

Answer = 6

special rule cont12
Special Rule (cont.)
  • Remember PA

Examples:

204,000 = decimal absent, start on “A” side, begin counting at first non-zero digit until you hit the end of the number.

Answer = 3

sig fig math rules
Sig. Fig. Math Rules
  • Addition / Subtraction:

Answers can’t have more numbers to the right of the decimal point than the number in the problem with the least amt. of numbers to the right of the decimal point.

Example = 24.1 + 3.35 + 2.23

Calculator says – 29.68 (wrong)

Answer – 29.7

sig fig math rules16
Sig. Fig. Math Rules
  • Multiplication / Division:

Your answer can’t have more sig. figs. than the number in the problem with the least amt. of sig. figs.

Example = 60.56227892 x 35.25

Calculator says – 2134.890832 (wrong)

Answer - 2135