Unit #1Unit #2Unit #3Unit #4Unit #5Unit #6Unit #7Unit #8Unit #9Unit #10
spacerUNIT # 1  
spacerspacerIntroduction
spacerspacerObjectives
spacerspacerReading

spacer1.1
Metric
spacerSystem
spacerSI System
spacerBritish System

spacer1.2 Temperature
spacerMeasure-
spacerments

spacer1.3 Scientific
spacerNotation

spacer1.4 Dimensional
spacerAnalysis

spacer1.5 Precision,
spacerAccuracy,
spacerUncertainty

spacerLimitation of the Measuring Instrument
spacerAnalysis of the Limitation of a Ruler
spacerAnalysis of the Limitation of another Ruler
spacer1.6 Significant
spacerFigures

spacerThe Magnitude and Reliability of the Measurement
spacerFive Rules for Determining the number of Significant Figures in a Measurement

spacer1.7 Calculations
spacerInvolving
spacerSignificant
spacerFigures
spacerRules for Rounding off Numbers
spacerRules for Addition  and Subtraction

spacerRules for Multiplication and Division

spacer1.8 Density
spacerDensity and Temperature
spacer1.9 Specific
spacerGravity
spacerspacerProblems
spacer1 | 2 | 3
   

MEASUREMENT

1.3 - Scientific Notation

Scientific notation is a very useful system of writing figures that are extremely large or extremely small. Scientific notation uses exponents to express figures.

For example,

  • 1,000,000 can be written as 1 x 106.
    • This is ten raised to the power of six
Similarly,
  • 0.000001 can be written as 1 x 10-6
    • This is ten raised to the power of negative six
Suppose we have a measurement of 6765.44 g and we wish to express this measurement in scientific notation. We simply move the decimal over to the LEFT until there is one digit (from 1 to 9) to the left of the decimal point. Here, we move the decimal place three places to the left. Therefore, in scientific notation,

6765.44 g = 6.76544 x 103 g.

Suppose we have a measurement of 0.000004334 cm and we wish to express this measurement in scientific notation. We simply move the decimal over to the RIGHT until there is one digit (from 1 to 9) to the left of the decimal point. Here, we move the decimal place six places to the right. Therefore, in scientific notation,

0.000004334 cm = 4.334 x 10-6 cm.

Do you understand the powers of ten?

View this site as it takes you from:

1023 meters
(10 millions light years away from the Milky Way)
10-16 meters
(examining quarks)



Later on you in section 1.6 you will appreciate the use of scientific notation in expressing a measurement in its proper number of significant figures.

Section 2.7
Exponents, Exponential Notation & Scientific Notation ..p27


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British Columbia Institute of Technology
Chemistry Department - 3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5G 3H2