Do
you know this number, 300,000,000 m/sec.? It's
the Speed of light ! Do
you recognize this number, 0.000 000 000 753 kg. ? This
is the mass of a dust particle! Scientists
have developed a shorter method to express very large numbers. This method is
called** scientific notation**. Scientific Notation is based on powers
of the base number 10.
The number 123,000,000,000 in scientific notation is written as :
`The first
number 1.23 is called the coefficient`. It must be greater than or equal
to 1 and less than 10.
*The second number is called the base* . It must always be 10 in scientific
notation. The base number 10 is always written in exponent form. In the number
1.23 x 10^{11} the number 11 is referred to as the exponent or power of
ten. ### To write
a number in scientific notation:Put
the decimal after the first digit and drop the zeroes.
In the number 123,000,000,000
The coefficient will be 1.23
To find the exponent count the number of places from the decimal to the end of
the number. In
123,000,000,000 there are 11 places. Therefore we write 123,000,000,000 as:
Exponents
are often expressed using other notations. The number 123,000,000,000 can also
be written as: **1.23E+11
or as 1.23 X 10^11 **
For
small numbers we use a similar approach. Numbers less smaller than 1 will have
a negative exponent. A millionth of a second is: **0.000001
sec. or 1.0E-6 or 1.0^-6 or ** ### Try
These sample questions!
Type the number for each in the box provided then *hit the submit button*.
**To practice
more problems use the scientific notation generator. Click
here!** |