Using Significant Figures Practice Problems (1.9) | Summary and Q&A

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August 9, 2010
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Tyler DeWitt
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Using Significant Figures Practice Problems (1.9)

TL;DR

Learn how to correctly round measurements using significant figures in three different scenarios.

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Key Insights

  • ❓ Significant figures are used to convey the uncertainty or precision in measurements.
  • 🔨 Measurements obtained from different tools or methods may have varying degrees of certainty.
  • 🛝 Rounding with significant figures is necessary to maintain consistency and accuracy in calculated results.
  • 🛝 Counted quantities have an infinite number of significant figures, while measured quantities require rounding based on their degree of uncertainty.

Transcript

I'm going to spend a little bit more time on when we use significant figures but only if you need it if you already understand measurement versus counting then just skip this video and move on it's it's a waste of your time to uh to watch it if you don't need it uh but if you do need it uh I'm going to do three examples that will probably help so l... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are significant figures used for?

Significant figures are used to indicate the degree of certainty or accuracy in measurements, ensuring that rounded values remain consistent with the original data.

Q: How do we determine the number of significant figures in measurements?

In a measurement, all non-zero digits are significant, zeros between non-zero digits are significant, leading zeros (before non-zero digits) are not significant, and trailing zeros (after non-zero digits) are only significant if there is a decimal present.

Q: How do we round measurements with significant figures when adding or subtracting?

When adding or subtracting measurements, round the result to the same number of decimal places as the measurement with the fewest decimal places.

Q: How do we round measurements with significant figures when multiplying or dividing?

When multiplying or dividing measurements, round the result to the same number of significant figures as the measurement with the fewest significant figures.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Some measurements have different levels of certainty, such as those obtained from accurate pedometers or approximate methods like Google Maps.

  • When adding or subtracting measurements with significant figures, round to the smallest number of decimal places.

  • When multiplying or dividing measurements with significant figures, round to the smallest number of significant figures.

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