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Scientific notation, and an exponent question

  1. Jul 25, 2013 #1
    I'm curious but usually negative exponents mean you're going to put those numbers on the bottom (sorry forgot the exact term it is much earlier than I normally get up) (example 6^-1 =1/6 so why is scientific notation different? Or is it? (Ex: 5x10^-3=.005)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2013 #2
    Scientific notation works the same way. [itex] 5 \cdot 10^{-3}=\frac{5}{10^3}=.005 [/itex]

    The term you are looking for may be "denominator".
     
  4. Jul 25, 2013 #3
    So I'm just not thinking about it in the right way. The fraction should have been a clue perhaps?
     
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