PhysicsLAB Worksheet
Significant Figures and Scientific Notation

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Refer to the following information for the next five questions.

Remember that we are only concerned with significant figures when we are dealing with measurements since these digits reflect the accuracy of our equipment.
How many significant figures are in the measurement 0.102 m? 

How many significant figures are in the measurement 1.002 dm? 

How many significant figures are in the measurement 0.001020 km? 

How many significant figures are in the measurement 1.6 x 10-19 C? 

How many significant figures are in the measurement 1,000,000 µg? 


Refer to the following information for the next four questions.

These next questions incorporate your knowledge of significant figures and the rules for adding/subtracting as well as multiplying/dividing significant digits.
 
  • When adding or subtracting two measurements, first convert them to the same unit of measurement, then line up the decimals. Your final answer should be rounded off so that it only has as many decimal places as your least accurate original value.

  • When multiplying or dividing two measurements, your answer should be rounded off so that it only has as many significant digits as your least accurate original value. 
What is the average of these two measurements: 12.0 cm and 12.6 cm? 

What is the average of these two measurements: 12 cm and 12.6 cm? 

Express the product of 12.0 cm x 15 cm with the correct number of significant digits. 

Express the product of 2π x 15 cm in decimal form with the correct number of significant digits. 

Refer to the following information for the next five questions.

Now for some basic conversions. Be careful of significant figures.
Convert 12.0 cm into meters. Express your answer with the correct number of significant digits. 

Convert 620 nm into meters. Express your answer in decimal form with the correct number of significant digits 

Convert 0.001020 km to meters. Express your answer in scientific notation 

Write the speed of light, 299792458 m/sec, in scientific notation with only 3 significant digits. 

Convert 0.1609 Mm to meters and express your answer in scientific notation. 


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