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What is Order of Magnitude and Significant figures in any measurement?

  1. Nov 19, 2012 #1
    In any physical measurement we often refer to two terms...

    1.'Order of Magnitude' of certain quantity
    2.the number of 'Significant figures'

    What they actually mean?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2012 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Order of magnitude refers to rough approximation. Example: around 100 could be anywhere from 50 to 200.

    Significant figures describes something fairly precise. Example: 1.26 (3 significant figures) means something in the range 1.255 to 1.265.
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