MEASUREMENT

1.6 -
Significant Figures

1.6.2 - Five Rules for Determining the number of Significant Figures in a Measurement  

Why is the measurement "300 L" confusing?

This measurement, as written, ends with zeros but it does not have a decimal point. This leads to confusion because it is not certain whether this measurement is:

To remove the ambiguity associated with any written measurements, we need to be more clear in the way we represent the measurement of "300 L". We can do this in two ways:

To represent "300 L" as a measurement with Scientific Notation
(recommended)
Overbar Notation
1 significant figure 3 x 102 L
2 significant figures 3.0 x 102 L
3 significant figures 3.00 x 102 L

Never leave it written as "300 L" !!!

 



All contents copyrighted © 1996-2006
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Chemistry Department - 3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5G 3H2