SigFigs - UT Austin College of Natural Sciences: Prep...

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UT Austin College of Natural Sciences: UNIT02: Measurement Prep Materials for College Level Chemistry Significant Figures (Significant Digits) If we give 40 people ten Vernier calipers and one line to measure, there is very little chance that all 40 people will come up with the exact same number for their measurement. They’ll get things like 4.45, 4.46, 4.43, 4.44, 4.45, etc. So what is the true measurement? Significant figures help us handle such cases. Significant figures rules exist for measurements and for computations with measurements. This section introduces these rules. The Point: Report only ONE questionable digit for measurements. In the example with the Vernier caliper above, everyone agrees on the “4.4” part of the measurement. The hundredths-place is the questionable digit. The Exceptions: Counting Numbers and Defined Quantities The Exceptions: Counting numbers are said to have infinite significant digits. That is to say, if there are three people in the room, no one will say there are 2.999 people
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SigFigs - UT Austin College of Natural Sciences: Prep...

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