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how to do scientific notation

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Scientific notation is used to condense numbers that are too large or to expand numbers that are too big.  For your example 1,030,000: you could say there are one million 30 thousand cells in the petri dish or you could say that there are 1.03 X 10^6 cells (by moving the decimal point to the left 6 places.)  

You may also have to keep in mind if you need to convert and amount of something into something else using the metric system. For example, if you want to know what  1,030,000 grams is in milligrams, it would be 1030 x 10^3 milligrams, or likewise it would be 1.03 X10 ^6 micrograms.

Scientific notation is a useful way to write a large number in short hand. This is only useful when the number you are shortening a large number with several 0's at the end of the number ex: 100 or 10000000 or 4000

 

to write in scientific notation  you use the format  x*10^n,  where all the digits at the  beginning of the number before you get to the 0's is x. But before we put x in the equation you need to place a decimal after the first digit.   in your example 1,030,000 x=1.03 ( notice the decimal after the first digit)

plugging x into our equation we get 1.03*10^n

 

now to find n. n is the ammount of digits in between the decimal on x and where it should be on you original number ex: 1,030,000 there are 6 digit places between Where it should be and where is is on x (count the commas: 1,0,3,0,0,0,0) 

 

there are 6 commas so n=6

 

Plugging this into our equation that is 1.03*10^6  

 

to double check this work out the equation. 10*10*10*10*10*10 = 1,000,000

1,000,000 * 1.03 = 1,030,000.

Scientific Notation is done by reducing the number that you have to a number between 1 and 10. Then you have that number multiplied by the proper factor of 10 to get your original number.

 For instance,

1,030,000 to be written in scientific notation, you have to make it a number between 1 and 10. So the original number becomes:

1.03 You keep your sig figs. Notice we had to move the decimal place 6 places to the left. So we multiply our number by 10 to the 6th power and it looks like this.

1.03 * 10^6