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Bishop_Book_Appendix_B_eBook

# Bishop_Book_Appendix_B_eBook - Appendix B Scientific...

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A PPENDIX B S CIENTIFIC N OTATION Numbers expressed in scientific notation have the following form: a s 10 b Exponent, a positive or negative integer Exponential term Coefficient, a number with one nonzero digit to the left of the decimal point For example, there are about 5.5 × 10 21 carbon atoms in a 0.55 carat diamond. In the number 5.5 × 10 21 , 5.5 is the coefficient, 10 21 is the exponential term, and 21 is the exponent. The coefficient, which should have just one nonzero digit to the left of the decimal point, reflects the number’s uncertainty. It is common to assume that numbers are plus or minus one in the last position reported unless otherwise stated. Using this guideline, 5.5 × 10 21 carbon atoms in a 0.55 carat diamond suggests that there are from 5.4 × 10 21 to 5.6 × 10 21 carbon atoms in the stone. The exponential term shows the size of the number. Positive exponents are used for large numbers, and negative exponents are used for small numbers. For example, the moon orbits the sun at 2.2 × 10 4 or 22,000 mi/hr.

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Bishop_Book_Appendix_B_eBook - Appendix B Scientific...

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