Physics 621A (Online)
Introduction &
Lesson 1: Skill Sets 2, 3 & 5

Know your Textbook
Table of Contents
pg. iv
Skill Sets
pg. 938
Appendices
pg. 954
Answers to Practice Problems
pg. 957
Glossary
pg. 966

Rounding & Significant Figures
Read Skill Set 2 page 940-941 and know…
•
the rules of significant digits
•
rounding rules
•
scientific notation
Note:
Significant Digits will be applied for all calculations throughout
science.
Scientific notation is used regularly but not necessarily always (see
ambiguous case pg. 940)
HW: Problems pg 942 #1-7

Rules of Significant Digits/Figures
1.
All Non-zero digits are significant
2.
All digits used in scientific notation are significant
3.
Zeros between non-zero digits are significant (107, 14005)
4.
Trailing zeros to the right of the decimal are significant:
2.500, 195.68000,
5.
Leading zeros to the
right
of the decimal (0.00012) are not
significant
6.
Ambiguous Case: Trailing zeros to the
lef
of the decimal are
not significant but if they are meant to be then scientific
notation must be used:
Ex) 1400 appears to have 2 significant digits, if the
zeros
are meant to be significant then it must be
written as
•

Scientific Notation
Ex) Write each in scientific notation
a) 1.368
b) 1200
c) 0.148
d) 0.0000100

Scientific Notation
ANSWERS
Ex) Write each in scientific notation
a)
1.368
= 1.368 x 10⁰
b)
1200
= 1.2 x 10³
c)
0.148
= 1.48 x 10⁻¹
d)
0.0000100
= 1.00 x 10⁻⁵

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- Spring '20