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Significant figures Clarification

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:51 pm
by Carlos Gonzales 1H
Let's say that in a question you are given a value with 3 significant figures. Would you have to go to 3 significant figures after every calculation? Or would you round at the very end of all the calculations?

Re: Significant figures Clarification  [ENDORSED]

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:01 pm
by Justin Bui 2L
I think it would be safer to keep a lot of sig figs (more than 3 in your example) and then at the end, round it to 3 sig figs so that the calculations will be as accurate as possible. Sometimes it might not make a difference but it is more accurate.

Re: Significant figures Clarification

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:35 pm
by Carlos Gonzales 1H
Oh I see, so if I come up with a number that has, say 7 digits, I'd go to maybe 4 for the rest of the calculations and then at the end go to 3 significant figures?

Re: Significant figures Clarification

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:19 pm
by Dang Lam
What I would do is that I would write down all the digits in the first calculation and carry them all the way down to the final answer. Then I round it