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When we express measured values, we can only list as many digits as we initially measured with our measuring tool. For example, if you use a standard ruler to measure the length of a stick, you may measure it to be 36 . 7 cm size 12{"36" "." 7" cm"} {} . You could not express this value as 36 . 71 cm size 12{"36" "." "71"" cm"} {} because your measuring tool was not precise enough to measure a hundredth of a centimeter. It should be noted that the last digit in a measured value has been estimated in some way by the person performing the measurement. For example, the person measuring the length of a stick with a ruler notices that the stick length seems to be somewhere in between 36 . 6 cm size 12{"36" "." 6" cm"} {} and 36 . 7 cm size 12{"36" "." 7" cm"} {} , and he or she must estimate the value of the last digit. Using the method of significant figures    , the rule is that the last digit written down in a measurement is the first digit with some uncertainty . In order to determine the number of significant digits in a value, start with the first measured value at the left and count the number of digits through the last digit written on the right. For example, the measured value 36 . 7 cm size 12{"36" "." 7" cm"} {} has three digits, or significant figures. Significant figures indicate the precision of a measuring tool that was used to measure a value.

Zeros

Special consideration is given to zeros when counting significant figures. The zeros in 0.053 are not significant, because they are only placekeepers that locate the decimal point. There are two significant figures in 0.053. The zeros in 10.053 are not placekeepers but are significant—this number has five significant figures. The zeros in 1300 may or may not be significant depending on the style of writing numbers. They could mean the number is known to the last digit, or they could be placekeepers. So 1300 could have two, three, or four significant figures. (To avoid this ambiguity, write 1300 in scientific notation.) Zeros are significant except when they serve only as placekeepers .

Determine the number of significant figures in the following measurements:

  1. 0.0009
  2. 15,450.0
  3. 6 × 10 3 size 12{6 times "10" rSup { size 8{3} } } {}
  4. 87.990
  5. 30.42

(a) 1; the zeros in this number are placekeepers that indicate the decimal point

(b) 6; here, the zeros indicate that a measurement was made to the 0.1 decimal point, so the zeros are significant

(c) 1; the value 10 3 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{3} } } {} signifies the decimal place, not the number of measured values

(d) 5; the final zero indicates that a measurement was made to the 0.001 decimal point, so it is significant

(e) 4; any zeros located in between significant figures in a number are also significant

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Significant figures in calculations

When combining measurements with different degrees of accuracy and precision, the number of significant digits in the final answer can be no greater than the number of significant digits in the least precise measured value . There are two different rules, one for multiplication and division and the other for addition and subtraction, as discussed below.

1. For multiplication and division: The result should have the same number of significant figures as the quantity having the least significant figures entering into the calculation . For example, the area of a circle can be calculated from its radius using A = πr 2 size 12{A=πr rSup { size 8{2} } } {} . Let us see how many significant figures the area has if the radius has only two—say, r = 1 . 2 m size 12{r=1 "." 2" m"} {} . Then,

Questions & Answers

a car move 6m. what is the acceleration?
Umaru Reply
depends how long
Peter
What is the simplest explanation on the difference of principle, law and a theory
Kym Reply
how did the value of gravitational constant came give me the explanation
Varun Reply
how did the value of gravitational constant 6.67×10°-11Nm2kg-2
Varun
A steel ball is dropped onto a hard floor from a height of 1.50 m and rebounds to a height of 1.45 m. (a) Calculate its velocity just before it strikes the floor.
Kris Reply
9.8m/s?
Muhammad
Sqrt(2*1.5m*9.81m/s^2)
Richard
0.5m* mate.
Muhammad
0.05 I meant.
Muhammad
Guess your solution is correct considering the ball fall from 1.5m height initially.
Muhammad
Sqrt(2*1.5m*9.81m/s^2)
Deepak
How can we compare different combinations of capacitors?
Prakash Reply
find the dimension of acceleration if it's unit is ms-2
Happiness Reply
lt^-2
Ahmad
b=-2 ,a =1
Ahmad
M^0 L^1T^-2
Sneha
what is botany
Masha
it is a branch of science which deal with the study of plants animals and environment
Varun
what is work
Sunday Reply
a boy moving with an initial velocity of 2m\s and finally canes to rest with a velocity of 3m\s square at times 10se calculate it acceleration
Sunday
.
Abdul
6.6 lol 😁😁
Abdul
show ur work
Sunday
sorry..the answer is -10
Abdul
your question is wrong
Abdul
If the boy is coming to rest then how the hell will his final velocity be 3 it'll be zero
Abdul
re-write the question
Nicolas
men i -10 isn't correct.
Stephen
using v=u + at
Stephen
1/10
Happy
ya..1/10 is very correct..
Stephen
hnn
Happy
how did the value 6.67×10°-11Nm2kg2 came tell me please
Varun
Work is the product of force and distance
Kym
physicist
Michael
what is longitudinal wave
Badmus Reply
A longitudinal wave is wave which moves parallel or along the direction of propagation.
sahil
longitudinal wave in liquid is square root of bulk of modulus by density of liquid
harishree
Is British mathematical units the same as the United States units?(like inches, cm, ext.)
Nina Reply
We use SI units: kg, m etc but the US sometimes refer to inches etc as British units even though we no longer use them.
Richard
Thanks, just what I needed to know.
Nina
What is the advantage of a diffraction grating over a double slit in dispersing light into a spectrum?
Uditha Reply
can I ask questions?
Boniface Reply
yes.
Abdul
Yes
Albert
sure
Ajali
yeap
Sani
yesssss
bilal
hello guys
Ibitayo
when you will ask the question
Ana
anybody can ask here
bichu
is free energy possible with magnets?
joel
no
Mr.
you could construct an aparatus that might have a slightly higher 'energy profit' than energy used, but you would havw to maintain the machine, and most likely keep it in a vacuum, for no air resistance, and cool it, so chances are quite slim.
Mr.
calculate the force, p, required to just make a 6kg object move along the horizontal surface where the coefficient of friction is 0.25
Gbolahan
Yes ask
Albert
if a man travel 7km 30degree east of North then 10km east find the resultant displacement
Ajali Reply
11km
Dohn
disagree. Displacement is the hypotenuse length of the final position to the starting position. Find x,y components of each leg of journey to determine final position, then use final components to calculate the displacement.
Daniel
1.The giant star Betelgeuse emits radiant energy at a rate of 10exponent4 times greater than our sun, where as it surface temperature is only half (2900k) that of our sun. Estimate the radius of Betelgeuse assuming e=1, the sun's radius is s=7*10exponent8metres
James Reply
2. A ceramic teapot (e=0.20) and a shiny one (e=0.10), each hold 0.25 l of at 95degrees. A. Estimate the temperature rate of heat loss from each B. Estimate the temperature drop after 30mins for each. Consider only radiation and assume the surrounding at 20degrees
James
Is our blood not red
Aditya Reply
If yes than why when a beam of light is passing through our skin our skin is glowing in red colour
Aditya
because in our blood veins more red colour is scattered due to low wavelength also because of that scattered portion comes on skin and our skin act as a thinscreen.
Aditya
so you saying blood is not red?
Donny
blood is red that's why it is scattering red colour!
Aditya
like if u pass light frm red colour solution then it will scatter red colour only.. so same it is with our skin..red colour blood is moving inside the veins bcz of thinkness of our fingers.. it appears to be red.
Aditya
No I am not saying that blood is not red
Aditya
then ur qtn is wrong buddy.. 😊
Aditya
Blood is red. The reason our veins look blue under our skin, is because thats the only wavelength on light that can penetrate our skin.
Mr.
Red light is reflected from our blood but because of its wavelength it is not seen. While in the other hand blue light has a longer wavelength allowing it to pass the our skin and to our eyes.
Nina
Thus, our veins appear blue while they are really red... THE MORE YOU KNOW...(;
Nina
So in conclusion our blood is red but we can only see blue spectrum because of our skin. The more longer a wavelength is the more durable it is to reflection, so blue light cant pass thew skin completely causing a reflection which causes veins to appear blue. While the red light is scatter around.
Nina
the reason why when we shine a light at our skin it appears red is because the red light is increased and more goes to your eyes. So in other words it increases the amount of red light vs it being scatterd around everywhere.
Nina
I think the blood is only a mixture of colors but red is predominant due to high level of haemoglobin.
stanley
As a side note, the heme part of hemoglobin is why blood is red
Sedlex
a car starts from rest acceleration and moves with a uniform acceleration a, in time t. the distance covered during the motion is expressed as?.
Ifetomide Reply
distance=a×(t^2)
Emmanuel
1/2at.t
David
Practice Key Terms 6

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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