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Significant figures for acid and base calculations

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:40 pm
by Hannah Lee 2F
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?

Re: Significant figures for acid and base calculations

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:48 pm
by Jamie Lee 1F
I think a rule of thumb in all calculations is to leave the rounding for the end for accuracy.

Re: Significant figures for acid and base calculations

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:49 pm
by chemboi
Preserve decimal points during intermediate steps, and only cut off decimals as part of adhering to sig fig rules for your final answer.

Re: Significant figures for acid and base calculations

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:51 pm
by Sartaj Bal 1J
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.