Measured Numbers and Significant Figures
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What is a significant figure?
If there is no 0 or a zero at the end of a decimal number
When is a number not significant?
if a zero is at the beginning of a decimal or without a decimal point
If the length is reported as 2.76cm, is this number significant or not significant?
All 3 digits are significant including the estimated digit (6).
-|8 . . . . | . . . . |9 . . . . | . . . . |10 . .
What is the length of the star line?
1) 9.0 cm
2) 9.04 cm
3) 9.05 cm
- Answer: 9.04 cm or 9.05 cm
- - Estimated digit may be slightly different. Both readings are acceptable
How do you read a meterstick?
-|2 . . . . | . . . . |3 . . . . | . . . .
- The first digit is 2
- plus the second digit 2.7
- The last digit is obtained by estimation (could be 2.75 cm or 2.76 cm)
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