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## Main Question or Discussion Point

I don't really get the concept of significant figures. Anyone can help me out?

1200 X 23.4

What is that in significant figures?

1200 X 23.4

What is that in significant figures?

- Thread starter Demiwing
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- #1

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I don't really get the concept of significant figures. Anyone can help me out?

1200 X 23.4

What is that in significant figures?

1200 X 23.4

What is that in significant figures?

- #2

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Remember that products will have as many sigfigs as the least accurate multiplier.

Here, in your case, 1200 [itex] \Rightarrow [/itex] 2 sigfigs, and 23.4 [itex] \Rightarrow [/itex] 3 sigfigs.

*Therefore, the product will have two sigfigs, represented as [itex] 28000 = 2.8 \cdot 10^4 [/itex]

->Just remember the sigfigs product rule here

- #3

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-All digits except zeros at the beginning of the number are significant.

i.e 9.12 (3) 0.912 (3) 0.00000912 (3)

-Terminal zeros @ right of decimal point are significant.

i.e 912.0 has four.

Multiplication and division;

Final answer has the same amount of significant figures as the number with the least sig fig in original problem.

i.e 34.987 x 54.2 = 1896.3

Addition and subtraction;

Final answer has the same number of sig fig as the number with the least number of decimal places.

i.e 12.9875 + 1.23 = 14.22

I think the best way to explain it is, you answer can only be as accurate as the least accurate answer. If that makes sense.

If you still don't get it, I have another way to explain but it's as long, if not longer than this. I don't really want to type that out yet. Haha.

Hope this helps.

- #4

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Hmm, I always liked sigfigs, never hated learning them..erok81 said:I always hated those when I was first learning them. Here are the basic rules.

Last edited:

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GCT

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first term has two sig figs, the second has three, your final product should have two sig figs.

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Ok, not really hated. But they are easy to get confused on. So as I was learning them I can't say I liked them. :tongue2:bomba923 said:Hmm, I always liked sigfigs, never hated learning them..

But after the first few minutes I liked them. Most of the class was still having problems with them by the end though.

- #7

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The concept is very simple, but it is surprisingly easy to make a mistake when working with sigfigs.

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*Mostly I just double-check my work to ensure proper use of sigfigsapmcavoy said:The concept is very simple, but it is surprisingly easy to make a mistake when working with sigfigs.

However, the stupid mistakes I do make :shy:, are just silly arithmetic errors (working under duress!), usually (+) sometimes (-). Though when working under pressure/duress...double-checking isn't always convenient

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