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Significant digits including only one zero

  1. Mar 9, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The problem asks us to find deceleration from 60km/h to 0km/h in 1,2 seconds.

    2. Relevant equations
    The speed formulas

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I know how to apply the formula. However, in the problem, it is written 0km/h. How many significant digits is that? How many significant digits should i have in this problem for the final result?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2013 #2
    You should have 2 in your answer as acceleration is the change in velocity (i.e. 60km/h in this case). The 0km/h can be ignored in the case of significant digits :smile:
  4. Mar 9, 2013 #3
    Thank you

    Thanks that's what I wanted to know. The zero is confusing. Also, for my lab report, I have to jot down the speed of a small toy according to the time passed. At the beginning, the toy is not moving. Should I put 0m/s or the number of significant digits put for the other data, since we can't really be sure the toy is not moving very very slightly?
    Thanks again.
  5. Mar 9, 2013 #4
    If it's not moving initially, 0 m/s will be fine.
  6. Mar 9, 2013 #5


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    Gold Member

    "Not moving" implies zero km/h with extreme precision. That is different from 0km/h. What would your answer be if the original question was looking for 60km/h to 1km/h?
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