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Understanding Scientific Output

by surajkaul
Tags: output, scientific
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surajkaul
#1
Mar15-12, 06:09 AM
P: 4
I've been using a calculator and did end up with the answer in the form of 5.34588e-012 or something like that.
I was learning Matlabs where I did
sin(pi)=1.2246e-016

I'm not into how did sin(pi) go equal to 1.2246e-016 but what does 1.2246e-016 mean ?

I googled it and someplace it wrote
1e1=10
3e3=3000

Does this mean e3=10^3, 3e3=3*10^3 ?
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Spimon
#2
Mar15-12, 08:17 AM
P: 25
You're spot on. In this scenario (as with many calculators) e simply means 'exponent' or 'times ten to the power of'. It's often shortened (as in Excel) to just XeY meaning 'X times ten to the power of Y'

1.2246e-016 means 1.2246x10^-16
Sure saves writing out 0.00000000000000012246 :)


Don't be mixed up with e being the base of the natural logarithm (2.71828, it's an irrational constant, like Pi). I don't know what level of maths you're at, so if you haven't heard of e being used in this context, it's probably not something you need to worry about. If you know all about it already, ignore this.
surajkaul
#3
Mar15-12, 08:47 AM
P: 4
Yes I've the idea of ln and log along with exponential e^x or 10^x. So at first I too thought XeY= X*e^Y rather than X*10^Y.
But I guess it's all clear now :)
Thanks Mate


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