Significant figures for acid and base calculations

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Hannah Lee 2F
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 am

Significant figures for acid and base calculations

Postby Hannah Lee 2F » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:40 pm

When considering sig figs for acid/base calculations, do you leave it to the very end to maintain accuracy or cut off digits for sig figs as we go?

For instance, for an ICE box problem, if the initial concentration was 6.69 mmol/500mL = 0.01338, would you keep it as 0.01338 or use sig figs which makes it 0.0134?

Jamie Lee 1F
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Significant figures for acid and base calculations

Postby Jamie Lee 1F » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:48 pm

I think a rule of thumb in all calculations is to leave the rounding for the end for accuracy.

chemboi
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Significant figures for acid and base calculations

Postby chemboi » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:49 pm

Preserve decimal points during intermediate steps, and only cut off decimals as part of adhering to sig fig rules for your final answer.

Sartaj Bal 1J
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Significant figures for acid and base calculations

Postby Sartaj Bal 1J » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:51 pm

Ideally, you would want to wait until your final answer to include sig figs in order to save time and maintain accuracy throughout the problem.


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