Calculating Significant Figures

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Calculating Significant Figures

Postby ludrin8348 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:19 pm

Here are some tips to calculate significant figures:
*Any non-zero number is considerate significant (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,...)
*When a zero is found between two non-zero numbers, the zero is significant. (101, 3 sig figs)
*Zeros to the left or at the beginning of a number are not significant. (0.005, 1 sig fig)
*If a number is bigger than one, all zeros found in the right side of the decimal point are significant. (15.00, 4 sig figs)
*If a number is less than one, only zeros at the end of the number and between non-zero digits are significant. (0.050, 2 sig figs)
*When we see a number that does not have a decimal point, zeros at the end may or may not be significant. It is better to assume they are not significant or to change the number into its scientific notation form. (150, 2 sig fig or 1.50X10^2, 3 sig figs)
*Exact number have infinite numbers of significant figures. (2 cars)

I hope this is as helpful for you as it was for me :)

Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Calculating Significant Figures

Postby lnlyzelda_3J » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:26 pm

Thank you for posting the rules for sigfigs. I had forgotten some of them and this was a very useful refresher.

Alexandria Weinberger
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:03 am

Re: Calculating Significant Figures

Postby Alexandria Weinberger » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:18 pm

This was very helpful as I was getting confused after not doing these calculations in so long!

Alex Nechaev 1I
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Re: Calculating Significant Figures

Postby Alex Nechaev 1I » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:06 pm

When working with significant figures in a problem, say, calculating the mass % of an element in a sample, always stick with the LEAST number of sig figs in the problem. For example, if an 8.00 g sample of Vitamin C contains 3.27 g of Carbon, 0.3661 g of Hydrogen, and 4.36 g of Oxygen, the least number of sig figs used for all 3 elements is 3. Therefore, any calculations you make using these numbers should result in 3 sig figs, no more.

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