Significant 0’s  [ENDORSED]

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Samantha Burmester 3H
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:23 am

Significant 0’s

Postby Samantha Burmester 3H » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:03 pm

What are the rules for when a 0 is significant regarding the decimal point?
For example, how many significant figures are in the number 0.0850?

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

Re: Significant 0’s  [ENDORSED]

Postby Megan Wong 4E » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:10 am

Zeroes between 2 nonzero numbers are significant
Ex) 202 has 3 sig figs
Final zeroes or trailing zeroes in the decimal portion are also significant.
Ex) 0.0850 only has 3 significant digits.

Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

Re: Significant 0’s

Postby mbaker4E » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:33 am

You can tell significant 0's by whether or not they contribute to the number's specificity. For example, 0.0850 is more specific than 0.085 because the latter is rounded, but 0.0085 is not a more specific version of 0.0850, it is just an entirely different number.

Mikka Hoffman 1C
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Re: Significant 0’s

Postby Mikka Hoffman 1C » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:54 am

If you're still having trouble with significant figures, this has been a really helpful resource: ... OUT_SF.pdf

Nada AbouHaiba 1I
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Re: Significant 0’s

Postby Nada AbouHaiba 1I » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:17 am
this is a different way to remember significant figures
it's helpful if you get confused between decimal present and no decimal

Jocelyn Thorp 1A
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:20 am

Re: Significant 0’s

Postby Jocelyn Thorp 1A » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:36 am

if it helps, think about how it would be written in scientific notation.

for example .085 would be 8.5*10-2(meaning the 0 after the decimal is not significant) while .850 would be written as 8.50*10-1 (so the zero is significant :). for a number like 100 or 200 the zeros aren't considered signifcant unless written as 100. or 2000. signalling that the scientific notation should be 1.00*102 and 2.00*103 (for 100. and 2000.) while it would be 1*102 and 2*103 (for 100 and 2000).

It's rough but I hope this helps :)

Natalie Nartz 4F
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Significant 0’s

Postby Natalie Nartz 4F » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:06 am

0.0850 would have 3 sig figs, as the two zeros before the 8 are not significant. However the trailing zero following the 5 would be significant

Luyan Zhang - 2D
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Significant 0’s

Postby Luyan Zhang - 2D » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:24 am

1. Leading zeroes are not significant
eg. 0.00007 only has one sf

2. Trailing zeros in decimals are significant
eg. 0.0000700 has 3 sig figs

3. Trailing zeroes in whole numbers are not significant
eg 7000 only has one sf
(If there is a decimal points after 7000, like 7000., then there are 4 sf)

4. The "in-between" zeroes are always significant
eg. 0.00707 has 3 sf

Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:19 am

Re: Significant 0’s

Postby Chantel_2I » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:28 am

Zeroes are also significant when they come after a decimal point and after another significant figure. For example, the zero in 86.0 would be considered a significant figure because it is to the right of 8 and 6, and it is after the decimal point. In cases like this, the zero specifies the degree of accuracy more.

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