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Scientific Notation, Standard Form


Date: 03/14/97 at 16:43:52
From: Beth
Subject: Scientific Notation, Standard Form

For problems like write 5.2 x 10^6 in standard form, I never know how 
many spaces to move the decimal point.

Thanks! :-)


Date: 03/14/97 at 17:37:56
From: Doctor Mike
Subject: Re: Scientific Notation, Standard Form

Dear Beth,
  
First of all, think of 5.2 as 5.200000000 so you have plenty of room 
for moving the decimal point.  

Also, 10^6 (ten to the sixth power) is the same as 10*10*10*10*10*10 
or 6 tens that are multiplied together.  
 
Each time you multiply by a ten, you move the decimal place over one 
space, which makes the number ten times larger. If you multiply by 
ten 6 times, the decimal place gets moved over 6 times, making 
5200000.000 which could be written 5200000 without the extra zeros 
or decimal point, or as 5,200,000 with the commas that people 
sometimes put in.  

Any way you write it, it is between 5 million and 6 million.
  
I hope this helps.  

-Doctor Mike,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
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