A | P | P | E | N | D | I | X A | ||

Powers of Ten and Scientific Notation |

In science, very large and very small decimal numbers are conveniently expressed in terms of powers of ten, some of which are listed below:

For numbers less than one, negative powers of ten are used. For instance, the Bohr radius of the hydrogen atom is

Calculations that involve the multiplication and division of powers of ten are carried out as in the following examples:

(A-1) | |

(A-2) | |

(A-3) | |

Scientific notation is convenient because of the ease with which it can be used in calculations. Moreover, scientific notation provides a convenient way to express the significant figures in a number, as Appendix B discusses.

Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. |