Significant figures when there are constants

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Ada Chung 1C
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:15 am

Significant figures when there are constants

Postby Ada Chung 1C » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:44 am

Say you have the compound C10H16O and you want to find the mass percentage. I know that you need to multiply 10x12.01 to get the mass of C. In this case, would I need to use 2 sig figs or can I just use 1.201 as the mass of carbon?

(I don't need help finding mass percent composition after I've found the mass of carbon I just need some help determining the significant figures)

Ally Huang- 1F
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Significant figures when there are constants

Postby Ally Huang- 1F » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:13 pm

You would use 12.01 and have four significant figures in your answer. The 10 is an exact number and can be written as 10.00.

Michael Nguyen 1E
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Significant figures when there are constants

Postby Michael Nguyen 1E » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:50 pm

Actually, exact numbers do not impact the number of significant figures in a calculation. In the example you provided, the 10 is exact and does not affect the problem's significant figures. Similarly, when you divide by 1000 to convert from mL to L, that 1000 will not affect significant figures because it is exact. Only approximations will affect significant figures.

Maeve Miller 1A
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Significant figures when there are constants

Postby Maeve Miller 1A » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:06 pm

In this case, would you round all throughout the problem or continue with exact numbers and round at the end to get 4 sig figs?


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