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To the nearest order of magnitude.

  1. Apr 3, 2010 #1
    "to the nearest order of magnitude."

    Just what is meant when a question asks to do your answer "to the nearest order of magnitude."
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2010 #2
    Re: words

    Hi,
    for e.g., 1 order of magnitude : 10.
    2 order of magnitude: 100.
    Also for e.g., x=9.3, then x is 1 order of magnitude.
    So nearest order of magnitude might be something like rounding off !
     
  4. Apr 4, 2010 #3

    mathman

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    Re: words

    It is rounding off, but in a logarithmic rather than linear scale.
     
  5. Apr 4, 2010 #4
    Re: words

    The question and answer would make a good addition to the PF Library Items.
     
  6. Apr 5, 2010 #5

    mathman

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    Re: words

    Just to clarify my answer precisely. The logarithmic scale would be to base 10, not natural.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2010 #6
    Re: words

    Yes i think it should be base 10..(from wiki)
     
  8. Apr 5, 2010 #7

    Redbelly98

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    Re: words

    I would phrase things a little differently, and say to round to the nearest power of 10. For example, 1, 10, 100, ... or 0.1, 0.01,....

    Examples:

    680 meters gets rounded to 1000 meters.
    2350 m also gets rounded to 1000 m.
    0.9 m → 1 m
    0.2 m → 0.1 m

    A value like 4 m is tricky. While closer to 1 m than 10 m on a linear scale, it is actually closer to 10 m on a logarithmic scale. So it becomes 10 m, to the nearest order of magnitude.
     
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