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The calculation, if written out, would look like this:
4.2 [ EXP] [+/–] 7 [÷] 5.0 [EXP] [+/–] 5 [=]
The calculator will display the answer as: 8.4 –03 or 8.4 –03; both stand for 8.4 × 10 –3 .
EXAMPLE 1.9 Significant Figures
Determine the number of significant figures in each of the following numbers.
c. 1.23 × 10 7
•Method of Solution
Refer to the guidelines for writing significant figures.
a. Recall that zeros between nonzero digits are significant. Answer: three significant figures.
b. Zeros to the left of the first nonzero digit are not significant. Answer: two significant figures.
c. The use of scientific notation implies that only significant figures are shown. Answer: three significant
d. When a number contains a decimal point and has trailing zeros, these zeros are significant. Answer: five
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- Spring '08