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Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:45 am
I just switched into this class and was wondering if Dr. Lavelle ever mentioned how he wanted answers formatted. Are we supposed to use scientific notation or SI prefixes or does it not matter?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:19 am
He hasn't said how he wants them expressed. I would go with scientific notation with the base units (g, mole, L). Just always make sure your sig figs are correct.

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:10 am
He hasn't really specified if he wants a certain format, but he has told us to know about sig figs and scientific notation.

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:34 am
I went to one of the UA sessions and they said we should mostly use scientific notation for our answers. That being said you also have to be aware of sig figs when you express an answer in scientific notation.

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:34 pm
I'm still a little confused as to when I should use scientific notation or not. For example, the textbook solution for Fundamentals E.23 part a is 0.0134 mol Cu^2+, while the solution for E.23 part b is 8.74x10^-3.

Why did they decide not to use scientific notation for part a?

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:23 am
While he has not explicitly stated, scientific notation pops up a lot as well as the role and importance of sig figs.

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:08 am
KayleyW_3L wrote:I'm still a little confused as to when I should use scientific notation or not. For example, the textbook solution for Fundamentals E.23 part a is 0.0134 mol Cu^2+, while the solution for E.23 part b is 8.74x10^-3.

Why did they decide not to use scientific notation for part a?

Using scientific notation is just a matter of convenience, for example for part a, it may be easier to write the answer normally, whereas part b has more decimal places so its probably easier to use scientific notation. Normally, you choose to use scientific notation to better show the number of sig figs you have in your final answer.

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:39 pm
KayleyW_3L wrote:I'm still a little confused as to when I should use scientific notation or not. For example, the textbook solution for Fundamentals E.23 part a is 0.0134 mol Cu^2+, while the solution for E.23 part b is 8.74x10^-3.

Why did they decide not to use scientific notation for part a?

I've noticed that scientific notation is often recommended when there is a change in at least 3 decimal places, such as 10^-3.

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:47 pm
I don't believe that sig figs are too important in this class. My TA told us that sig figs are not too big of a deal, as long as you do not round to whole numbers or to only 1 decimal place when the answer should clearly have 2 or 3 decimal places. As for scientific notation, I believe that it is more of a convenience, although it never hurts to use scientific notation!

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:59 pm
^^ agreed, my TA told me not to be worried about sig figs at all, but I'd just be aware of it. also, I heard when writing out chemical equations, just write the states of each element to be safe (ie. (aq),(l),(g),(s))

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:41 pm
Dr. Lavelle hasn't mentioned if he prefers them in scientific notation or not, however I assume he wants us to know how to use it but questions don't specifically ask to format it into scientific notation so I don't we have to, it is just preferred. As for, sig figs my ta said on the exams they won't take points off for not having it however it would be best to know how to put the answer in the correct formatting for the amount of sig figs.

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:00 pm
Thank you, I see! So I should could technically use scientific notation for 0.0134, but it is generally not as often used for when the power of ten is (negative) 3 or more.

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:16 pm
Charisse Vu 3E wrote:I don't believe that sig figs are too important in this class. My TA told us that sig figs are not too big of a deal, as long as you do not round to whole numbers or to only 1 decimal place when the answer should clearly have 2 or 3 decimal places. As for scientific notation, I believe that it is more of a convenience, although it never hurts to use scientific notation!

If you did have to use sig figs how would you know how many to have in the answer?