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# What are the rules in the determining the number of significant figures?

Updated: 9/22/2023

Wiki User

7y ago

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

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).

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.

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

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

11y ago

1. All non-zero digits are always significant.

2. Zeroes between other significant figures are significant.

3. Trailing zeroes without a decimal point are not significant.

4. Trailing zeroes after a decimal point are significant.

5. Leading zeroes that come before a non-zero number are not significant.

1. 2598 has four significant figures.

2. 25005 has five significant figures.

3. 160 has two significant figures.

4. 45.800 has five significant figures.

5. 00.00589 has three significant figures.