Scientific Notation: Adding and Subtracting ExponentsDate: 03/21/2002 at 10:20:24 From: Vicki Moser Subject: Scientific Notation How do you add and subtract numbers written in scientific notation form? Date: 03/21/2002 at 10:42:26 From: Doctor Ian Subject: Re: Scientific Notation Hi Vicki, The key is to make sure they have the same exponent. Then you can add and subtract them like 'regular' numbers: 3.14159 * 10^9 + 2.71828 * 10^7 = 314.159 * 10^7 + 2.71828 * 10^7 = (314.159 + 2.71828) * 10^7 This is similar to what you have to do to add or subtract fractions: 2 3 14 15 - + - = -- + -- = (14 + 15) * (1/35) = 19/35 5 7 35 35 There's nothing magical about having the same exponent, or the same denominator. It just allows you to apply the distributive property: ac + bc = (a + b)c Does this help? - Doctor Ian, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ Date: 03/21/2002 at 11:18:01 From: Vicki Moser Subject: Scientific Notation Thank you so much for responding to my question so quickly. |
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