Q&A #4319

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Estimation: Order of Magnitude, Compensation

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From: Raffaele Valente

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2007103008:38:13
Subject: Re: Estimation: Order of Magnitude, Compensation

Given any number n, his Order Of Magnitude (OOM) is the power of ten
closest to n.
For instance 160.000.000 has OOM equals to 100.000.000 ie 10^8
0.00129 has OOM 10^-3 and so on

For instance
light speed in kilometers is 300.000 km/sec so a light year is
365 times 86.4000 times 300.000 kilometers
that is 9.460.800.000.000
its OOM is 10^10

you explain powers and their properties 
positive and negative exponents both 

This is the way I teach negative powers to my 14 years old student

10^-2 is 10^3/10^5


three ten on numerator cancel with three ten on denominator
so 10^(3-5)=10^(-2)=1/10^2

you can also explain why 0 raised to 0 doesn't make sense
as 0/0 is not determinate

hope this helps


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