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Consistency in physical data measurements(significant figures and decimal places)

  1. Mar 16, 2009 #1
    Dear forum members,

    forgive me if the post is out of place, but I am really lost with this subject.

    I am told that when writing my lab reports I should report the measurements to the same number of significant figures and decimal places, and sometimes I find these two things contradictory.

    For example,

    if I have two measurements, let's say 0.044 meters and 0.12 meters, they both have the same number of significant figures(2), but a different number of decimal places. Then again if I round the first measurement to 0.04 it will have only one significant figure whereas the second measurement will have two.

    Am I just misunderstanding this whole thing or where am I going wrong?

    Please help me. Any help is much appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2009 #2


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