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Scientific Notation

what is and how to write in scientific notation

Chelsea Dozier

on 26 September 2013

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Transcript of Scientific Notation

What is it?
How to do it!

Scientific Notation
Scientific notation is a way that scientists handle very large or very small numbers
For example, instead of writing 0.0000000056g to describe the mass of an eyelash...
we write 5.6 x 10-9.

So, how does this work?
It is all in how we move the decimal

Just remember:

Tiny #s the decimal moves right

Big #s the decimal moves left
For example:

is a very large number
We can write this without all the zeros
by using scientific notation

We would need to move the decimal
place to the left because it is
a BIG number
We start by putting our decimal at the end of the number:

123 000 000 000.

Next we will move it left unit we are between the first two numbers

1.23 000 000 000
We need to count how many places we
moved the decimal

In 1.23 000 000 000 we moved it 11 places

Since we moved the decimal left
and it is a BIG number, the
11 (our exponent) will be +
The 11 is a power of 10. So it should be superscript or up above the 10, however Prezi will not let me superscript the numer.

That is why the ^ mark is there.
The very last step is to drop all the zeros and write the remaining number

1.23 x 10^11
The same rules apply for very small
numbers except:

The decimal will be moved to the right

The exponent will be a negative number
For example:

0.000 000 000 075

We would move the decimal to the right
between the 7 and 5

0 000 000 000 07.5
Since we moved the decimal
11 places to the right
and it is a very tiny number...
our exponent will be -

We would right this:

7.5 x 10 ^ -11
When given scientific notation,
just work backwards.

With negative exponents... move the decimal to the left. This will be a very tiny number.

With positive exponents, move
the decimal to the right.
This will be a
large number.

4.2 x 10 ^ 6 = 4200000

4.2 x 10 ^ -6 = .0000042
In chemistry, you will be adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers in scientific notation.

You can either put the number in ''number'' form or plug the notated number into the calcutator.
Lastly... How to use a calculator


How to:
1) Open with a parenthesis (

2) Plug in decimal number 2.4

3) Use the EE button.
(EE is equal to x 10 ^ )

4) Enter the exponent number. Use the +/- button to change its sign if it is a negative number

5) Close parenthesis
HINTS before you try:

The EE button is above the x-1 (above the 7)

You will have to hit the 2nd (x-1) button

Full transcript