## Sig figs

Hannah_1G
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:22 am

### Sig figs

For the homework are we supposed to be using a set significant figure number?

Haley Fredricks 1B
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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:16 am
Been upvoted: 2 times

### Re: Sig figs

No, you should be answering each individual question with the number of sig figs in the question (depending on addition or multiplication it could be different). There isn't a general set number of sig figs for the homework.

905416023
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Sig figs

it seems like for the most part many of the problems are only to 2 sig figs.

Hannah_1G
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:22 am

### Re: Sig figs

If the question doesn't mention sig figs, should I not worry about the precision of the answer then?

AndreiRekesh1I
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: Sig figs

It's probably best to use the number of sig figs in the givens.

Michelle Shin 4B
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Sig figs

For sig figs make sure to use the smallest value of sig figs in the given (ex. 4.00 is 3 sig figs) and also use at the end of calculations.

905416023
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Sig figs

What if the question doesn't have numbers in it? Should I just do it to 3?

CynthiaLy4F
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: Sig figs

No, the number of sig figs can vary because it is based on the least amount of sig figs present in the problem. However, any conversion factors do not count when determining the number of sig figs.

Jiyoon_Hwang_2I
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Sig figs

You should always round your final answer to the correct number of sig figs. If you're doing addition/subtraction, round your answer to the least number of sig figs from any of the numbers in the given problem. If you're doing multiplication/division, round your answer to the least number of decimal places from the measurements given in the problem. Also, for determining whether or not a zero is significant, you should follow these two rules.

Sandwich rule: if a zero is between two significant figures, then the zero is also significant. (i.e. 304 --> the three and the four are significant so the zero in between is also significant)

Right-Right rule: if a zero is to the right of a significant figure and to the right of a decimal, then it is significant. (i.e. 9.0 --> the nine is significant and the zero is to the right of a decimal so it is significant)

Hannah_1G
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:22 am

### Re: Sig figs

CynthiaLy3H wrote:No, the number of sig figs can vary because it is based on the least amount of sig figs present in the problem. However, any conversion factors do not count when determining the number of sig figs.

Thank you this helped a lot. I was looking for the homework question to mention how many sig figs to use, not how many they are giving in the given values.

205192823
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:19 am

### Re: Sig figs

During discussion, my TA said that Professor Lavelle is more lenient about sig figs because students use to ask a lot of questions about that during lecture and would take too much time away. But you should still be aware of the values given in the questions and use those sig figs. That doesn't mean you should round up 0.677 to a 2 though.

805422680
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: Sig figs

Sig figs should be designated individually for each problem. It's the least accurate out of all the numbers given. Also, make sure you don't round off digits when you're calculating. Only round off with sig figs at the end.

605110118
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am

### Re: Sig figs

How important is it to know all the rules for sig figs? I feel like I know some basics but not the more specific rules that pertain to addition/subtraction or multiplication/division?

Arianna Perea 3H
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Sig figs

Do we apply Sig Figs after every calculation or only to the end result?

Reagan Smith 1H
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: Sig figs

I think you are supposed to do the sig figs only at the end so that your rounding doesn't get messed up but if you want to be super sure Dr. Lavelle has a Sig Fig review link on his 14A website
Last edited by Reagan Smith 1H on Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Julieta Serobyan4D
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Sig figs

Arianna Perea 3H wrote:Do we apply Sig Figs after every calculation or only to the end result?

I am not sure, but I usually do it at the end cause your result can be inaccurate, if you don't have enough sig.figs. I round up to 4 significant figures after each question and in the end round to the least sig.figs available in the problem.

Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Sig figs

Julieta Serobyan4D wrote:
Arianna Perea 3H wrote:Do we apply Sig Figs after every calculation or only to the end result?

I am not sure, but I usually do it at the end cause your result can be inaccurate, if you don't have enough sig.figs. I round up to 4 significant figures after each question and in the end round to the least sig.figs available in the problem.

It's best if you round to the smallest number of sig figs at the end of the problem-- this will prevent any rounding error. Work through the problem as if sig figs never existed, then apply the rules of sig figs at the end. For multiplying just round to the smallest amount of sig figs (usually the amount of numbers there are).

chrischyu4a
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: Sig figs

605110118 wrote:How important is it to know all the rules for sig figs? I feel like I know some basics but not the more specific rules that pertain to addition/subtraction or multiplication/division?

Back in high school, I know that sig figs account for a lot of points so I believe that it is important that you follow the rules for sig figs when notating your final answer. As for the rules, when mutiplying/dividing, you will need to have the same amount of sig figs as the value with the least amount of sig figs in your calculations
E.g. 5.51* 6.5=35.815 without sig figs, but since 6.5 has the least amount of sig figs compared to 5.51, your final answer will be 36 which has the same amount of sig figs as 6.5

When adding/subtracting, which you might not have to worry about as much as multiplying/dividing, you take the same amount of sig figs as the value in your calculations that has the least amount of digits to the right of the decimal.
e.g. 5.31-3.2= 2.11 without sig figs, but since 3.2 has the least amount of digits to the right of the decimal with 1 digit, your final answer will only have 1 digit to the right of the decimal which is 2.1

kpang_4H
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:17 am

### Re: Sig figs

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/wp-conten ... OUT_SF.pdf
This is the link on Lavelle's website that explains how sig figs work. There is no set number of decimal places or sig fig for the whole set; after reading over the pdf, use sig figs at the end of your calculations to prevent a rounding error.