Old 28th August 2004, 03:32   #1
k_rock923
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Significgant figures

Serisouly, why does it work this way?

According to my textbook, for multiplication, the number of significgant figures is the same as the number of significgant figures in the least precise number. Correct?

So. . .

9.2 x 100.65 = 925.98
but, 9.2, the least precise measurement has only two significgant figures. so does that mean that 9.2 x 100.65 = 930? That's just stupid.

I don't remember this kind of thing happening in regents chem, but this stuff is everywhere so far in AP.

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Old 28th August 2004, 03:36   #2
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because 25.98 is rounded to the nearest '10'. I don't get the difficulty?

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Old 28th August 2004, 03:40   #3
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I know its not difficult but it just seems weird writing an answer thats so far off from the real answer just to be technical.

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Old 28th August 2004, 03:44   #4
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I can think of no good use besides teaching it to some other foolish enough bugger to learn about it for 70-80% of maths following what you learned in whatever your country calls your first 6-7 years in school.

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Old 28th August 2004, 03:57   #5
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significant figures are very relevent. It shows the accuracy of a number. therefore a number, like 1004 years, would be read to be 1004 years plus or minus one year, whereas 1000 would be 1000 plus or minus one thousand years, unless it's 1000.0. quite a difference.

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Old 28th August 2004, 04:28   #6
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The number of significant figures (and the rules for multiplication as you cited) are relevant when the numbers are known to be approximations only, e.g. when they are measurements from a device that declares it can only be accurate down to the last 0.1 cm. So an object measured to be 10.2 cm in length can range from 10.15 to 10.25 cm.

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Old 28th August 2004, 04:36   #7
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Ohhhh. I didn't think of that. I guess in the chemistry problem's we're supposed to do it that way just to practice.

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Old 28th August 2004, 05:13   #8
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sig figs are what makes physics work in the real world.

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And On that day, the Lords of the land said unto their Master Architect, "The temple you have made to the gods of Wasabi and Maki has brought us no great prosperity" and they sent out him into the lands.

As he traveled to a far off land, he found he wasn't traveling alone, but that he had gained companions, and when they found their new land, they started work on a new temple, one that would be OPEN to all who wanted to worship.

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Old 28th August 2004, 06:12   #9
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And while i'm going on a rampage (i better not hear anything about this not being the forum for bitching) screw this assignment with a million and one conversions. I hate conversions. Enough already.

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