1
Significant digits
• All nonzero digits are significant
• Zeros are significant if:
– Between significant figures
• E.g. 5
0
4
Right of decimal
an
right of significant figure
– Right of decimal
and
right of significant figures
• E.g. 14.5
0
– If it does not meet
both
, it’s not significant
• E.g.
0
.
00
147
• Zeros in this case tell magnitude
and not error
– E.g. 47,000,000
(number significant digits?)
1
Significant digits
• For values that are ambiguous:
– Clarify with scientific notation
• X.YY… * 10
z
• X must be digit between 1and 9
• Y,Z can be any digit
• Significant figures determined by
mantissa
•10
Z
indicates magnitude
– Numbers that indicate magnitude ARE NOT significant
• Any zero in the mantissa must be significant!
– Right of decimal and right of significant figures
2
Calibrating volumetric glassware
• Example 23:
– A 25 mL pipet delivers 24.976 g of water
weighed against steel mass at 25ºC.
Use the
data in Table 23 to calculate the volume
delivered by this pipet at 25ºC and 20ºC
3
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 Spring '10
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 analytical methods, Volumetric Glassware

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