Scientific Notation

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Katherine Grillo 1B
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Scientific Notation

Postby Katherine Grillo 1B » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:20 am

How do we know when to write solutions using scientific notation? I usually do so as a default but when checking the solutions manual, I noticed that sometimes answers like (for example) .0623 is left just like that and not written as 6.23 * 10^2. Is there a reason for that? Are there specific rules to be followed when using scientific notation?

Tony Chung 2I
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:19 am

Re: Scientific Notation

Postby Tony Chung 2I » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:44 am

I think that it's based off of personal preference. It should not matter which format you write your answer in, unless the question specifically asks you to write it a certain way.

Xingzheng Sun 2K
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am

Re: Scientific Notation

Postby Xingzheng Sun 2K » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:49 am

I would say scientific notation is not required except the question asks. It is a way to make your answer clear, so it is up to you to use it or not for most questions as long as you get the right result.

Deepika Pugalenthi 1A
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: Scientific Notation

Postby Deepika Pugalenthi 1A » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:33 am

I use scientific notation primarily when there's multiple zeros after the decimal point before getting to the exact numbers. For example, if the answer is 0.00072, I would write it in scientific notation instead of writing out all the zeros in order to get two sig figs.

Roberto Gonzalez 1L
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 am

Re: Scientific Notation

Postby Roberto Gonzalez 1L » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:40 am

I had the same problem of not knowing when scientific notation is actually required. More specifically if its neccesary to do all our work in this form or can I use decimals up until reaching the final solution?

Nancy Hu - 4E
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Re: Scientific Notation

Postby Nancy Hu - 4E » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:03 am

It's really just personal preference. If you find it a lot easier to write out numbers especially long ones in scientific notation, you can. It's also a lot easier to use scientific notaion when you want to keep numbers at a certain sig fig.

Madison Gil 3D
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:23 am

Re: Scientific Notation

Postby Madison Gil 3D » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:01 pm

Use scientific notation in order to end the problem with the correct number of sigfigs.

Sapna Ramappa 1J
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: Scientific Notation

Postby Sapna Ramappa 1J » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:48 pm

Katherine Grillo 4H wrote:How do we know when to write solutions using scientific notation? I usually do so as a default but when checking the solutions manual, I noticed that sometimes answers like (for example) .0623 is left just like that and not written as 6.23 * 10^2. Is there a reason for that? Are there specific rules to be followed when using scientific notation?


If you're trying to determine whether or not you want to use scientific notation, I would recommend looking at the number of significant figures you're given. If you need to change the number of significant figures and rounding the number does not give you the correct number of significant figures, putting the answer in scientific notation might help.


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