P SIG DIGS - SIGNIFICANT FIGURES Significant Figures: Many...

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SIGNIFICANT FIGURES Significant Figures : Many of the numbers in science are the result of MEASUREMENTS and therefore are subject to some degree of EXPERIMENTAL UNCERTAINTY. A rough indication of the uncertainty is implied by the number of digits used. EXAMPLE: 2.50 m could mean that we expect the answer to be between 2.495 m and 2.505 m (i.e. ± 0 005 . m ). Significant figures refer to the fact that we have a reliable digit that we know with certainty. RULES : 1) The number of significant figures when no decimal point is indicated is equal to the number of digits. EXAMPLE: 123 has 3 significant digits; 1972 has 4 significant digits. 2) The number of digits to the left of the decimal point are SIGNIFICANT if and only if they are NOT ALL ZEROS. The number of digits to the right of the decimal point is SIGNIFICANT provided the numbers to the left of the decimal point are NOT ALL ZEROS. EXAMPLES 1023.0 has 5 significant figures whereas 0.001 has only 1 significant digit. 0.00001020 has 4 significant figures, namely 1020 .
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P SIG DIGS - SIGNIFICANT FIGURES Significant Figures: Many...

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