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Unformatted text preview: Often useful as a sanity check (for example, of an equation) Treat dimensions (units) as algebraic quantities Dimensional analysis Estimates and OrderofMagnitude Calculations OrderofMagnitude: Correct within a factor of ten Eg: Estimate the annual gas consumption of cars in Canada Significant Figures Significant figure is the number of reliably known digits. Leading zeros are not significant. Trailing zeros are ambiguous: The last digit of 1500 could be known exactly, or could be approximated. Correct treatment: Use scientific notation. Significant Figures Multiplication Multiplication and Division: Significant figures of the result should be adjusted to the significant figures of the factor with the lowest number of significant figures. Significant Figures Addition Addition and subtraction: Number of decimal places in the result should equal the smallest number of decimal places in any term....
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This note was uploaded on 08/17/2010 for the course PHYS PHYS 131 taught by Professor Ragan during the Spring '09 term at McGill.
 Spring '09
 Ragan

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