Unformatted text preview: determining the correct number of significant figures after a calculation depends on the type of calculation. First
let us review the rules for expressing significant figures.
Guidelines for Writing Significant Figures. To determine the number of significant digits that are
present in a written number, use the following rules:
• • • Any nonzero digit is significant.
Zeros between nonzero digits are significant. The digits in the number 506 mean there are 5 hundreds, 0
tens, and 6 ones. The zero digit is significant because it tells us there are no tens. All three digits are
Leading zeros are those to the left of the first nonzero digit as in 0.02. They are not significant figures.
These zeros serve to mark the position of the decimal point. The rule is that zeros used only to place the
decimal point are not significant. Thus 0.6 g and 0.0006 g both have only 1 significant figure.
Zeros written to the right of nonzero digits are called trailing zeros. They are considered to...
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- Spring '08
- pH, Orders of magnitude, Study Guide TOC