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# What is signitifcant figures?

I believe you mean significant figures.

Take an example. If you measure the length of a table as 1.52 m and its width as 1.46 m, each is measured to the nearest cm, and the values have just 3 significant figures.

So the area of the table could be calculated as 1.52 x 1.46 = 2.2192 m2.

But as the length could actually be between 1.515 and 1.525m, and similarly for the width, the area of the table could be between 1.515 x 1.455 = 2.2043 m2 and 1.525 x 1.465 = 2.2341 m2. So the answer should be given to 3 significant figures (2.22 m2) as the 4th and 5th figures are not significant.

As a general rule, in multiplication and division the number of significant figures given in your answer should be no more than the smallest number of significant figures found in any of the numbers used to do the multiplication (or division).

4.5 x 4.653 x 3.234 = 67.715109 = 68 to 2 sig.figs. Study guides

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## Which scientist used mathematical knowledge to calculate the exact measurement of the meter

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