# Solving Significant Figures Problems - Area of a Parking Lot

• chocolatelover
In summary, significant figures are important in science because they represent the precision and accuracy of a measurement or calculation. To determine the number of significant figures, start counting at the first non-zero digit and continue until the last digit. To round a number to a specific number of significant figures, start at the leftmost non-zero digit and count the digits until the desired number is reached. When working with significant figures, common mistakes to avoid include rounding too early, forgetting to carry over a digit, and using the incorrect number of significant figures. It is also important to consider the units and precision of given measurements.
chocolatelover
Hi everyone,

The problem says:

A parking lot is 115 ft by 200 ft. Find the area in m2

My attempt:

1m=3.281 ft

So (115 ft)(1m/3.281ft)=35.1m

(200ft)(1m/3.281ft)=70.0m

A=(35.1m)(70.0m)
A=2457m2=2.46X10^3m^2

Thank you very much

200/3.281 = 61.0, not 70.

Also watch out for round-off errors.

Thank you very much

Does 2.14 X 10^3 m^2 look right?

Yup:

Thank you very much

Regards

## What are significant figures and why are they important in science?

Significant figures are the digits in a number that are known with certainty, plus one uncertain digit. They are important in science because they indicate the precision and accuracy of a measurement or calculation. They help to represent the limits of precision and avoid false precision in scientific data.

## How do I determine the number of significant figures in a given number?

To determine the number of significant figures, start counting at the first non-zero digit and continue until the last digit. Trailing zeros after a decimal point are always significant, but trailing zeros before a decimal point may or may not be significant depending on the context.

## How do I round a number to a specific number of significant figures?

To round a number to a specific number of significant figures, start at the leftmost non-zero digit and count the digits until you reach the desired number of significant figures. If the next digit is 5 or greater, round up the last digit. If the next digit is less than 5, leave the last digit unchanged. Any trailing zeros may need to be removed.

## How do I solve a significant figures problem involving the area of a parking lot?

To solve a significant figures problem involving the area of a parking lot, first determine the measurements of the parking lot in meters or feet. Then, use the appropriate formula (length x width) to calculate the area. Finally, round the answer to the correct number of significant figures based on the least precise measurement used in the calculation.

## What are some common mistakes to avoid when working with significant figures?

Some common mistakes to avoid when working with significant figures include rounding too early in a calculation, forgetting to carry over a digit when rounding, and using the incorrect number of significant figures in a final answer. It is also important to use the correct units and to consider the precision of the given measurements.

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