## Decimal point

Manya Kidambi 3I
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

### Decimal point

Can someone explain the difference in sig figs between 125 and 125. , if there is one?

Ashita Tanwar 3H
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:23 am

### Re: Decimal point

Both of the values have the same number of significant figures: 3 sig figs. Adding a decimal point is tricky when it comes to sig figs!

Nicoline Breytenbach 3D
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am
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### Re: Decimal point

If it had been 120 instead of 125, for example, 120 is only two significant figures while 120. is three. It has to do with zeroes at the end of numbers

Irene Zhou 1E
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

### Re: Decimal point

125 and 125. have the same number of sig figs! Sometimes it may be confusing if the numbers end in 0. For example 120 and 120.0 have different sig figs because of the decimal in place.

Bruce Chen 2H
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

### Re: Decimal point

These both have the same amount of significant figures. During one of the lectures, Dr. Lavelle had stated that significant figures are easily understandable when you put them into scientific notation. For example, these two numbers(125 and 125.) are both 1.25 * 10^2 and have 3 significant figures.

Riley Dean 2D
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

### Re: Decimal point

Can someone explain what the rule is for 120 to be only two significant figures while 120. is three

Daniel Lai
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

### Re: Decimal point

Basically, zeroes before the decimal point with the decimal point behind them and zeroes following the decimal point are significant. The only zeroes that aren't significant are zeroes in a number like 120 where they are no decimal points.

Yukta Italia 3I
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

### Re: Decimal point

Does that mean 120. has 3 sig figs and 120 has two sig figs?

Nicoline Breytenbach 3D
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### Re: Decimal point

Yukta Italia 3I wrote:Does that mean 120. has 3 sig figs and 120 has two sig figs?

Yes!

Bianca Barcelo 4I
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 am
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### Re: Decimal point

For these types of values involving leading zeros behind a decimal, (e.g., .041), would you disregard the 0 as a significant figure?

Jocelyne Milke 1G
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:25 am

### Re: Decimal point

Bianca Barcelo 1G wrote:For these types of values involving leading zeros behind a decimal, (e.g., .041), would you disregard the 0 as a significant figure?

I believe for the example of 0.041 there would be 2 sig figs so the 0 is not a sig fig

Chem_Mod
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### Re: Decimal point

If students are still struggling with significant figures, please refer to this accessible document summarizing significant figure rules: https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/wp-conten ... OUT_SF.pdf

Alexandra Ortega 4D
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:17 am

### Re: Decimal point

The reason 120 has 2 significant figures while 120. has 3 is that the decimal tells you that any zeros before and after it are considered significant. So, 120 has 2 sig figs, while 120. has 3 sig figs and 120.0 has 4 sig figs. The zeros after nonzero numbers are only significant if there is a decimal. 1200 only has 2 sifg figs because the zeros are not followed by a decimal.

Karishma_1G
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

### Re: Decimal point

120. definitely has 3 significant figures. 120 (without the decimal point) however is ambiguous and therefore it is better to use scientific notation: 1.20 x 10^2 (this would definitely have 3 significant figures).

Connie Chen 3D
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:12 am

### Re: Decimal point

Manya Kidambi 3I wrote:Can someone explain the difference in sig figs between 125 and 125. , if there is one?

125 and 125. both have 3 significant figures. However, 125.0 has 4 significant figures. The reason being that there is a 0 behind the decimal point in 125.0 while 125. does not have a 0. 125.00 would have 5 sig figs, 125.000 would have 6, and so on.