Understanding Scientific Output

by surajkaul
Tags: output, scientific
 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 ?
 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.
 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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