Sig Fig in Relation to Zero

Moderators: Chem_Mod, Chem_Admin

Madelyn Romberg 3L
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:16 am

Sig Fig in Relation to Zero

Postby Madelyn Romberg 3L » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:24 pm

0 can be a sig fig but I am confused when it comes to decimals. For example, which zeros are sig figs in 0.0490?

Mariam Baghdasaryan 4F
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am

Re: Sig Fig in Relation to Zero

Postby Mariam Baghdasaryan 4F » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:43 pm

0.0490 has 3 sig figs I read this in another post: "If the decimal point is present, start counting digits from the Pacific (left) side, starting with the first non-zero digit. If the decimal point is absent, start counting digits from the Atlantic (right) side, starting with the first non-zero digit."

Also you can memorize this:
Non-zero digits are always significant. (i.e. 490 or 0.049 has 2 sig figs)
Any zeros between two significant digits are significant. (i.e. 501 or 5.01 has 3 sig figs)
A final zero or trailing zeros in the DECIMAL PORTION ONLY are significant. (0.0490 explained above has 3 sig figs)

Becky Belisle 1A
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

Re: Sig Fig in Relation to Zero

Postby Becky Belisle 1A » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:46 pm

In 0.0490, the significant zero is only the one in the ten-thousandths place. I remember this rule because this zero shows more precision in the measuring equipment used. If the number was 0.0409, the zero between the 4 and 9 would be a significant figure.

jessicahe4Elavelle
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Sig Fig in Relation to Zero

Postby jessicahe4Elavelle » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:26 pm

There are 4 major rules regarding zeros and significant figures.
1. Zeros that are between two non-zero digits are significant. (ex. 303 - 3 significant figures)
2. Leading zeros are not significant. (ex. 0.4 - 1 significant figure)
3. Trailing zeros that are to the right of the decimal are significant. (ex. 45.60 - 4 significant figures)
4. Trailing zeros in a whole number without the decimal shown are not significant. (ex. 450 - 2 significant figures), If a decimal point is added to the whole number, the trailing zero is significant (ex 450. - 3 significant figures)


Return to “Significant Figures”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest