Constants and Significant Figures

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Constants and Significant Figures

Postby Milind_Vasudev_2H » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:54 pm

Do constants like Planck's Constant limit the final amount of significant figures? I know the course reader rounds to 3 significant figures but other sources give it many more. How do we know how many to use?

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Re: Constants and Significant Figures

Postby Jaipaul_Bhangu_3H » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:58 pm

I was also wondering this. Honestly, I would say to ask Dr. Lavelle.

Brian Huynh 3D
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Re: Constants and Significant Figures

Postby Brian Huynh 3D » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:03 am

Technically, Planck's Constant has 6 significant figures ( 6.62608 x 10^-34), but it depends on the experimental data you have. Typically, most workbook problems don't have that long of significant figures, so they are usually limited by the other numbers like frequency or wavelength. Numbers with less significant figures will limit the final data to that number. Ex. If there was data that has 6 significant figures and 3 significant figures, the final answer will have 3 significant figures. If you still have trouble with significant figures, i suggest checking out the post about Significant figure rules. I hope that helped somewhat!

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Re: Constants and Significant Figures

Postby MelanieAu1G » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:05 am

Generally speaking, yes, constants should be taken into account for significant figures. To determine how many significant figures to consider, use the number with the least amount of significant figures present, or provided, in a problem. Even though there may be a number with a greater amount of significant figures, one can only be as specific as the least specific value present. I hope that that answer is helpful and makes sense. Best of luck!

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