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Help Strange problem with scientific calculator. 
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#1
Mar214, 10:27 AM

P: 36

I was doing chemical equilibrium problems where one of the steps required me to square the reciprocal.
Which was (1/4.2x10^52)^2 The correct answer for this is 5.7 x 10^106 but my Casio FX 115 ES calculator keeps showing zero. Can anyone please shed some insight on this. It would be greatly appreciated. I have used this calculator in the past with success. I never encountered such a problem before. I have my exam on Tuesday. BTW no graphing calculators are allowed. If this doesnot workout then I will have to purchase another scientific calculator. 


#2
Mar214, 10:40 AM

PF Gold
P: 1,516

The calculator can't show a value greater than 99 or less than 99 in the power.(The maximum value available is 9*10^99 and minimum is (9*10^(99)) (I have a Casio fx100MS) 


#3
Mar214, 10:59 AM

Admin
P: 23,714

It is called an "arithmetic underflow".
Note that [tex]\left(\frac 1 {4.2 \times 10^{52}}\right)^2 = \left(\frac 1 {4.2}\right)^2 \left(\frac 1 {10^{52}}\right)^2 = 0.057 \times \frac 1 {10^{104}} = 0.057 \times 10^{104}[/tex] 10^{104} part can be done in memory faster than it takes to key numbers into calculator  you just need to understand what is going on and how to deal with such a situation. 


#4
Mar214, 11:19 AM

P: 36

Help Strange problem with scientific calculator.
Thanks guys, that helped a lot. :)



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