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Unformatted text preview: 1 Sig Figs in Calculated Values Since there is a limit to the accuracy of measured values, there must also be a limit to the accuracy of calculations performed using measured values. In general, we can say that a calculated value can be no more accurate than the least accurate measurement used in the calculation. However, exactly how the leastaccurate measurement determines the number of significant figures in the calculated result depends on the operation performed. 2 Sig Figs in Calculated Values (cont) Multiplication/Division : The result of a multiplication or division must have the same number of significant figures as the measurement with the fewest number of significant figures . For example, let's say you want to determine the area of a rectangular room using the lengths of two walls, 3.55 m and 11.65 m: Reporting 41.3575 m 2 implies that the calculated area was more accurate than either of the wall measurements, which is impossible. Since your least accurate value has two certain digits and one estimated digit, your calculated digit simply can't do any better, so it cannot have more than three significant figures . 2 2 measured value measured value correct answer calculator answer 3 sig figs 4 sig figs 3 sig figs 6 digits 3.55 m 11.65 m 41.3575 m 41.4 m = = 1 2 3 142 43 142 43 1 442 4 43 3 Sig Figs in Calculated Values (cont) Multiplication/Division : The result of a multiplication or division must have the same number of significant figures as the measurement with the fewest number of significant figures . For example, let's say you want to determine the area of a rectangular room using the lengths of two walls, 3.55 m and 11.65 m: Reporting 41.3575 m 2 implies that the calculated area was more accurate than either of the wall measurements, which is impossible....
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 Spring '09
 wyman

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