Scientific Notation and Engineering Notation
Date: 10/22/2003 at 08:54:53 From: Jim Subject: Notation What is the difference between Scientific Notation and Engineering Notation?
Date: 10/22/2003 at 13:43:35 From: Doctor Douglas Subject: Re: Notation Hi Jim, These two notations are similar in that they express the number in the form of a decimal number multiplied by 10 to some power. As stated in this answer in our archives, Scientific Notation and Engineering Notation http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/55606.html the difference is in what restrictions are placed upon the various numbers. Example: -14778.21 Scientific Notation: -1.477821 x 10^4 This number is of the form A x 10^p, where A is between 1.0 and 10.0 (or between -1.0 and -10.0), and p is an integer. Engineering Notation: -14.77821 x 10^3 This number is of the form A x 10^p, where A is between 1.0 and 1000.0 (or between -1.0 and -1000.0), and p is a multiple of 3. The special case of zero (0.0) does not have a unique representation in either scientific or engineering notation. Engineering notation is used in many physical and engineering applications because numbers often come with units. For example, if the above quantity represented the number of volts, then you could express -14778.21 volts as -1.477821 x 10^4 volts, or more conveniently as -14.77821 kilovolts (kV). The metric prefixes are used commonly for those powers that are multiples of 3. For example, in various scientific and engineering disciplines you can see the use of gigavolts (10^9 V), megavolts (10^6 V), kilovolts (10^3 V), volts (V), millivolts (10^-3 V), microvolts (10^-6 V), nanovolts (10^-9 V) and even picovolts (10^-12 V). But it is rare to see the use of decivolts (10^-1 V) or hectovolts (10^2 V). - Doctor Douglas, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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