 # Significant Figures, and Scientific Notation

## Presentation on theme: "Significant Figures, and Scientific Notation"— Presentation transcript:

Significant Figures, and Scientific Notation
The valid measurements or digits are called SIGNIFICANT!

When using our calculators we must determine the correct answer; our calculators are mindless drones and don’t know the correct answer.

Significant figures are all the digits in a measurement that are known with certainty
plus a last digit that must be estimated.

Uncertainties of Measurements
Accuracy is the degree of “exactness” to which the measurement quantity can be reproduced.

Accuracy Is the extent to which a measured value agrees with the standard value of the quantity. CALCULATORS DO NOT INCREASE THE ACCURACY!

Using Significant Figures reflects precision by estimating the last digit
What is the certain measurement? (52 ml) What is the estimated measurement? (.8 ml)

The instrument determines the amount of precision of the data.
What is the certain measurement here? (62.4 g) What is the estimated measurement here? (.00 g)

Error vs. Mistakes ERROR MISTAKES Mistakes are caused by PEOPLE
Scientific errors are caused by INSTRUMENTS Scientific measurements vary in their level of certainty Mistakes are caused by PEOPLE Misreading, dropping, or other human mistakes are NOT error

Significant Digits Nonzero digits are always significant
All final zeros after the decimal point are significant Zeros between two other significant digits are always significant Zeros used solely for spacing the decimal point are not significant

Exact and Counting Numbers do not have significant digits

Exact numbers are important: they are infinitely valuable
Exact numbers are important: they are infinitely valuable. Counting numbers come only in whole numbers.

There are rules for: multiplication/division addition/subtraction and combined equations

The answer can’t be more precise than the question
Rules for multiplication/division The result has the same number of significant figures as the factor with the fewest significant figures The answer can’t be more precise than the question

The answer can’t be more precise than the question
Rules for addition/subtraction The result has the same number of decimal places as the number with the fewest decimal places The answer can’t be more precise than the question

1. Do the functions in parenthesis
2. Note the number of significant digits in the question 3. Perform the remainder of calculations 4. Round the final answer

The answer is based on the number with the fewest decimal points Multiplication/Division The answer is based on the number with the fewest significant digits

Round only the final answer in a series of calculations

Now You Try It! Add 24.686 m +2.343 m + 3.21 m = ?
Calculator says: 3 decimals, 3 decimals and 2 decimals So 2 decimals it is Answer is m Multiply 3.22 cm by 2.1 cm Calculator says 3 sig figs, 2 sig figs So 2 it is! Answer is 6.8 cm2

Divide .005673 L by 2.1 L Calculator says 0.0027014286
4 sig figs and 2 sig figs 2 it is! Answer is L

Scientific Notation In chemistry we often use very large or very small numbers We also have to pay attention to significant figures Scientific notation allows us to do both easily!

Scientific Notation is using powers of ten
1000 becomes 1 X 10 3 becomes 1 X

Try These 3.45 x 104 2.36 x 10-3 5.69 x 107 x 10-7

How to do problems with scientific notation Ex. 4. 7 x 10 25 x 1
How to do problems with scientific notation Ex. 4.7 x x 1.9 x first do numbers: 4.7 x 1.9 estimate as 5 x 2 = 10 now do powers: x = 12 so 10 x or 1.0 x 10 13

Calculators can help First, type in the number (ie 4.5) Then press 2nd
Finally, press EE (above the comma) The number will display as 4.5 E 13 Read this as 4.5 x 10 13

Significant figures are easy when using scientific notation 2
Significant figures are easy when using scientific notation 2.3 x has 2 sig figs 3.7 x has 2 sig figs The placeholder zeros are eliminated for you!