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Smallest 5-Digit Number


Date: 02/05/2002 at 22:14:17
From: Adam Christensen
Subject: Smallest 5-digit number

Hi,

My dad says the smallest 5-digit number is 00000, but my teacher says 
it is 10000. The dictionary says that zero is a digit. What's the 
right answer?

Thanks,
Adam


Date: 02/05/2002 at 22:52:38
From: Doctor Paul
Subject: Re: Smallest 5-digit number

Ask your dad if he would accept $000,000 as payment for a six-digit 
income at his job. I think he'll begin to see things your teacher's 
way. :-)

I would agree with your teacher.  Leading zeros do not count when 
looking at significant figures and are hence usually not written.

I hope this helps.  Please write back if you'd like to talk about this 
some more.

- Doctor Paul, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Elementary Number Sense/About Numbers
Elementary Place Value

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