Homework Help: Converting between scientific & regular notation, without changing sig. figs.?

1. Jun 16, 2012

rishay95

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
According to the question, i have to convert 3.60 * 105 to regular notation, without changing the number of significant figures, which is currently, as i understand, three.
I'm just really unsure how to do this.
Any help?

2. Relevant equations
Some said to write out 360,000 & use a bar on the leftmost zero. But, the textbook doesn't mention bars so i'm not sure if we're allowed to use them. Is there any other solution?

3. The attempt at a solution
If it were 3.6 * 105, I know it would just be 360,000

However, that 3.60 is what's really messing me up.

Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
2. Jun 16, 2012

Xisune

360,000 is still correct. 3.6 x 10^5 means that the actual value is in the range from:

355,000 to 365,000.

Whereas 3.60 x 10^5 means that the actual value is in the range from:

359,500 to 360,500.

3. Jun 16, 2012

rishay95

Thanks for the reply, but doesn't the value 360,000 have 2 significant digits? That would be changing the number of significant digits, which according to the question, im not allowed to do.

4. Jun 16, 2012

Xisune

To specify 2 sig digs, write the uncertainty after the value.

For 3.6 x 10^5, the uncertainty would be ± 5,000.

That means the uncertainty for 3.60 x 10^5 is...?

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