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### 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

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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