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SIGNIFICANT FIGURES
The number of significant figures in a measurement indicates the
uncertainty in the measurement.
Significant figures are the digits of a number whose values are certain.
In scientific notation it is the number of digits used to write the number.
.23 x 10
3
5.23 x 10
1.03 x 10
2
4 x 10
3
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View Full Document Rules for significant figures:
(1) All nonzero digits are significant.
1.334
1.6
1,111.8
(a) between two nonzero digits.
307
2,004
10,106
370
11,600
(b) to the right of a decimal point and to the right of a nonzero digit.
(2) Zeros are significant only when they occur
3.0
0.000010
4.10700
0.000034
0.070
(c) both to the left of a decimal and to the right of a nonzero digit.
30.
30
6,500.
6,500
10.000
(3)
Definitions are exact. It is like having infinitely many sig. fig.
1 in is defined as exactly 2.54 cm.
It is like 1.00000000000… = 2.540000000000… cm).
When rounding, look at the digit to the right of the place you want to round
to.
If it is 4 or smaller, round down. If it is 5 or greater, round up.
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2010 for the course CHEM CHEM125 taught by Professor Ellis during the Fall '10 term at NJIT.
 Fall '10
 ellis

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