## Sig Figs in Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

EllenRenskoff-1C
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

### Sig Figs in Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

When we are calculating an uncertainty using the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, how would we determine the proper amount of sig figs for our final answer? For example, if the uncertainty in velocity is +/- 0.5 m/s and the mass is 4.02 x 10^30 kg, would the final answer have one sig fig because the uncertainty has one sig fig, or would it have 3 sig figs because the mass has 3 sig figs? In other words, can we base our number of sig figs off an uncertainty quantity?

Danielle Sumilang - 1F
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:05 am

### Re: Sig Figs in Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Hello!

The answer would have 1 sig fig because we use the smallest number of sig figs in the numbers given by the question. In this case, the uncertainty in velocity has 1 sig fig and that is the smallest amount of sig figs given so the answer would have 1 sig fig as well.

fara valdez
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:05 am

### Re: Sig Figs in Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

How would you make this distinction in all problems?

Chem_Mod
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### Re: Sig Figs in Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

The number of sig figs for the final answer will depend on the number of sig figs in the numbers you use in the mathematical operation and the type of mathematical operation you perform in your calculations.