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Guidance_on_Significant_Figures

Guidance_on_Significant_Figures - CEE 320 Environmental...

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CEE 320 – Environmental Engineering 1 Guidance on Significant Figures Significant figures are important in engineering calculations because they suggest a the level of certainty that we have in the number we are reporting. For example, it would probably be misleading to say that a reactor should have a volume of 278.42 m 3 . It is probably more appropriate to say that the volume should be 280 m 3 . Most of the material presented here is borrowed from reference Felder and Rousseau, (1986). Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, 2 nd Edition, Wiley. THE SIGNIFICANT FIGURES OF A NUMBER ARE: 1. The digits from the first nonzero digit on the left to the last digit (zero or nonzero) on the right, if there is a decimal point. OR 2. The digits from the first nonzero digit on the left to the last nonzero digit on the right, if there is no decimal point. EXAMPLES: 4006 has four significant figures 12.270 has five significant figures 0.0040 has two significant figures 2300 has two significant figures 2300. has four significant figures 2300.0 has five significant figures
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