Calculate Avg of 2 Values with Significant Figures: 1.56324 N & 1.13405 N

In summary, we were given two values (1.56324 N and 1.13405 N) and asked to calculate their average using significant figures. Using the formula for average, we get 1.348645 N as our answer. However, there was a question about whether the answer should be rounded to 1.34865 N or just 1 N. The rule for significant figures states that when dividing or multiplying, we should use the number with the least amount of significant figures, which in this case is 1 N.
  • #1
jeehoo
2
0

Homework Statement


We measured 2 values and were asked to calculate their average using sig fig
The two values were: 1.56324 N and 1.13405 N.

( 1.56324 N + 1.13405 N ) / 2 = 1.348645 N

Would the answer be 1.34865 N or 1 N?
(Someone told me that we only use the sig figs of measured values, which are 1.56324 N and 1.13405 N.)

Homework Equations


avg. = sum of values / number of values

The Attempt at a Solution


I think it's 1 N since when dividing or multiplying you use the sig fig of numbers with the least amount of sig figs.
 
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  • #2
jeehoo said:
I think it's 1 N since when dividing or multiplying you use the sig fig of numbers with the least amount of sig figs.
Realize that the 2 you are dividing by is an exact number. Dividing by an exact number does not impact the number of significant digits in your answer.
 

Related to Calculate Avg of 2 Values with Significant Figures: 1.56324 N & 1.13405 N

1. What is the formula for calculating the average of two values?

The formula for calculating the average is to add the two values together and then divide by the number of values, in this case 2. So for the given values of 1.56324 N and 1.13405 N, the formula would be (1.56324 N + 1.13405 N) / 2 = 1.348645 N.

2. How many significant figures should the average have?

The average should have the same number of significant figures as the value with the fewest significant figures. In this case, both values have 5 significant figures, so the average should also have 5 significant figures.

3. How do you round the average to the correct number of significant figures?

To round the average to the correct number of significant figures, you should first determine which number is in the last significant figure. In this case, it is the 8 in 1.348645 N. The number after the 8 is a 4, which is less than 5, so the 8 should stay the same. Therefore, the rounded average to 5 significant figures is 1.3486 N.

4. Can the average have more significant figures than the original values?

No, the average cannot have more significant figures than the original values. The average is calculated by adding and dividing the values, so it cannot have more significant figures than the values themselves.

5. What is the significance of significant figures in scientific calculations?

Significant figures are important in scientific calculations because they represent the precision and accuracy of the measurement. They also help to avoid misleading results and ensure consistency in reporting data.

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