9 posts • Page 1 of 1
The rule for trailings zeroes for sig figs can be a little misleading, but the best indicator is always the presence or absence of a decimal point. Lack of a decimal point can lead to uncertainty, but any time there is a decimal point, count the trailing zeroes regardless of whether they are before or after the decimal point.
When it comes to significant figures you always go by the least precise number. For example, 2.3 x 2.22 = 5.106. However, due to the least precise number being 2.3 you only have two significant figures. So, the answer would be 5.1. I have always been taught that the safest way to approach sig figs is by doing all of the calculations, keeping all of the numbers exact, and then once you have your final answer then you can apply significant figures.
So is it generally safe to not worry about sig figs in your calculations until you reach your final answer? When showing our work on tests do you think it'll be ok to use exact numbers until the end of the problem?
If there are multiple parts to one question, like part (a) and part (b), and when we want to calculate the answer for part (b), we need to use the answer from part (a), do we use the rounded off answer or the more accurate raw answer? Or are they both okay?
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests