## Significant Figures

Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

### Significant Figures

When should we apply the rules of significant figures? Do we use them throughout the problem or just for the final answer?

Megan Wong 4E
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

### Re: Significant Figures

We would apply the correct significant figures for the answer only. If every answer from each step taken to reach the solution was rounded, the answer you generate could potentially be too far off from the actual answer. Hope this helps!

Cody Do 2F
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:23 am

### Re: Significant Figures

The rule of significant figures should be used for the final answer! You'd want to try to use exact values throughout all your calculations because it minimizes the chance for serious error—rounding error from multiple values would add up and could significantly alter your final answer!

Amy Lefley 1J
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

### Re: Significant Figures

Also keep in mind the rules for significant figures are different for adding and subtracting versus multiplying and dividing. When you are adding and subtracting, you use the value with the least amount of decimal places (so if you have 14.23+2.9 the answer would have one decimal place). For multiplying and dividing, you use the value with the smallest amount of sig figs (if you have 12.78/8.90 the answer would have three sig figs)!