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# Rules to follow in determining the number of significant figures?

Updated: 8/10/2023 Wiki User

10y ago

The rules for identifying significant figures when writing or interpreting numbers are as follows:

1. All non-zero digits are considered significant. For example, 91 has two significant figures (9 and 1), while 123.45 has five significant figures (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).

2. Zeros appearing anywhere between two non-zero digits are significant. Example: 101.1203 has seven significant figures: 1, 0, 1, 1, 2, 0 and 3.

3. Leading zeros are not significant. For example, 0.00052 has two significant figures: 5 and 2.

4. Trailing zeros in a number containing a decimal point are significant. For example, 12.2300 has six significant figures: 1, 2, 2, 3, 0 and 0. The number 0.000122300 still has only six significant figures (the zeros before the 1 are not significant). In addition, 120.00 has five significant figures since it has three trailing zeros. Wiki User

7y ago   Wiki User

7y ago

The rules for identifying significant figures when writing or interpreting numbers are as follows:

1. All non-zero digits are considered significant. For example, 91 has two significant figures (9 and 1), while 123.45 has five significant figures (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).

2. Zeros appearing anywhere between two non-zero digits are significant. Example: 101.1203 has seven significant figures: 1, 0, 1, 1, 2, 0 and 3.

3. Leading zeros are not significant. For example, 0.00052 has two significant figures: 5 and 2.

4. Trailing zeros in a number containing a decimal point are significant. For example, 12.2300 has six significant figures: 1, 2, 2, 3, 0 and 0. The number 0.000122300 still has only six significant figures (the zeros before the 1 are not significant). In addition, 120.00 has five significant figures since it has three trailing zeros.   Wiki User

13y ago

1. Always count nonzero digits

Example: 21 has two significant figures, while 8.926 has four

Example: 021 and 0.021 both have two significant figures

3. Always count zeros which fall somewhere between two nonzero digits

Example: 20.8 has three significant figures, while 0.00104009 has six

4. Count trailing zeros if and only if the number contains a decimal point

Example: 210 and 210000 both have two significant figures, while 210. has three and 210.00 has five

5. For numbers expressed in scientific notation, ignore the exponent and apply Rules 1-4 to the mantissa

Example: -4.2010 x 1028 has five significant figures   Wiki User

13y ago

1. Zeros between number are significant figures.

303 is 3 sig. fig.

3003 is 4 sig. fig.

2. Zeros before a number is not a significant figure.

3. Zeros after a decimal place is a significant figure.

4. Zeros after a number can be a sig. fig. depending on what is required

54000 can be 2 sf, 3sf, 4sf and 5sf   Wiki User

10y ago   Earn +20 pts  