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Mr Fs Maths Notes Number 11. Standard Form

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What is Standard Form and why do we need it?… How heavy do you reckon the sun is?... Ill tell you, its about: kg Now, I dont know about you, but I cant be bothered either counting or writing out all those zeros… well, fear not, because that is why we have standard form! Standard form is just a convenient way of writing out really big or really small numbers. Something really big like kg is written as: And something really small like: seconds is written as kg seconds

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The Big Facts about Standard Form When a number is written in standard form, it looks like this: a number x10 a number This number must always be between 1 and 10 If this sign is negative, the number is small and you move the decimal point to the left If there is no sign here, then it is a hidden plus, the number is very big and we move the decimal point to the right This number (the power) tells you how many places to move your decimal point

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1. Writing Numbers in Standard Form Method 1. Place you finger where the decimal point is (it may be hidden!) 2. Count backwards or forwards the number of places you have to move to make the starting number between 1 and Write your answer in standard form Example Now, with whole numbers like this, the decimal point is hidden at the end: Now, all we need to do is count how many places we need to move the decimal point until we create a number between 1 and 10 Well, I reckon the number we want is 2.3… We have moved the decimal point 9 places, so our answer is… Example Now, with decimals like this we can see the decimal point quite clearly! Now, all we need to do is count how many places we need to move the decimal point until we create a number between 1 and 10 Well, I reckon the number we want is 4.623… We have moved the decimal point 5 places, so our answer is…

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2. Changing From Standard Form Method Same thing as before, but this time you kind of need to work backwards. Crucial: It is so easy to check your answer and so easy to make a mistake, so check! Example Okay, so we can see where the decimal point is, and the 6 flying in the air says we must move it 6 places to the right! So, it looks like our answer is… But dont take my word for it. Do what we did in the last section, and use your finger to work back from the answer If you start with and move your finger back 6 places, do you end up with… Yes, so youve definitely got it right! Example Okay, so we can see where the decimal point is, and the -5 flying in the air says we must move it 5 places to the left! So, it looks like our answer is… Again, its so easy to check, so do it! If you start with and move your finger 5 places, do you end up with… Yes, so youve definitely got it right! Just like with the previous example, fill in the gaps with zeros…

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3. Multiplying and Dividing with Standard Form Method This is actually quite nice. All you need to do is… Multiply/Divide your big numbers, Add/Subtract your powers Example 1 Okay, lets follow our method: Add our Powers… Multiply our Big Numbers: So, it looks like our answer is… Problem: This answer is NOT in Standard Form, because 40 is not between 1 and 10 So we must use our brains to change it… Our extra zero… goes here! Example 2 Okay, lets follow our method: Subtract our Powers… Divide our Big Numbers: So, it looks like our answer is… Problem: This answer is NOT in Standard Form, because 0.6 is not between 1 and 10 So we must use our brains to change it… We need to borrow a zero… from here!

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4. Adding and Subtracting with Standard Form Method Unfortunately, there is no easier way to do this than… Write out the numbers in full and then add or subtract the old fashioned way! Example 1 Okay, so first we must change both numbers into standard form: Now we line our digits up carefully and add… Usually you will then be asked to convert your answer back into Standard Form… = Example 2 Okay, so first we must change both numbers into standard form: Now we line our digits up carefully and subtract… Usually you will then be asked to convert your answer back into Standard Form… =

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Good luck with your revision!

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