Significant Figures and Scientific Notation Sample Quiz
SCIENTIFIC NOTATION (all answers in this section must be written in proper
scientific notation)
1. Write in scientific notation
235.010 =
2.35010 x 10
2
Scientific notation always has a single nonzero digit before the decimal point. In this case the trailing zero is
significant because it is a decimal place zero in a number greater than 1.
2. (2.02 x 10
2
) x (3.1 x 10
4
) =
6.3 x 10
2
The calculator reads 626.2, however, the second number (3.1 x 10
4
) has only two significant figures, therefore
the final answer can only have two sig figs.
3. 2.47 x 10
2

6.81 x 10
1
=
6.56 x 10
1
Again the calculator reads 0.6563 or 6.563 x 10
1
but in addition and subtraction the least accurate value
controls how many sig. fig.s there will be. The first number has four decimal places whereas the second number
has only three decimal places and is therefore the least accurate number.
4. 9.23 x 10
3

0.0006
=
8.6 x 10
3
As in number three above the first number has 5 decimal places but the second number has only 4 decimal
places so the answer can only contain 4 decimal places  0.0086.
5. 7.635 x 10
1
x
4563
=
3.484 x 10
3
Each part of this multiplication problem has 4 sig. fig.s, therefore the answer must have the same.
6. 773 x (4.3 x 10
2
)/14.4
=
2.3 x10
4
4.3 x 10
2
has only 2 sig. fig.s, this is the controlling factor in this problem. Thus the answer can only have 2 sig.
fig.s. The exponent portion is never counted as part of the significant figures.
7. (19.1
x
4.732)
+
4.20 x 10
4
=
9.04 x 10
1
In this problem the multiplication part must be done first. The answer to it is 90.3812. When 4.20 x 10
4
is added
to this value we get 90.381620, however we can only report 3 sig. fig.s, therefore the final answer of 90.4 or
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 Fall '09
 JULIAKOVACS
 Scientific Notation, Decimal, Elementary arithmetic, sig. fig.s

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