ExampleRound 0ff to 2 significant figures 8,452,000…Our second figure from left has been shown below this can either decrease or increase depending on whether the following number is above/equals or below. Since the following number is a 5 the number 4 before it will increase to a 5, remember we’re treating 4 as the second significant figure so it will become. We replace all the following figures with zeros because they’re not significant in the level of accuracy we’re trying to archive. Zero figures are not significant.
Identifying significant FiguresHere are a few rules that you should know when working with significant figures.
- All non-zero digits/figures with a number are significant digits, they’re significant for example, 82 has two significant digits (8 and 2) whilst 12345 has five significant digits (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)
- Leading zeros within a number are not significant; for example 0.00052 has two significant digits 5 and 2
- UNFINISHED LIST NOTIFY ADMIN
Rounding off decimal numbersDecimal numbers can also be rounded off to a certain degree of accuracy for example; 534.56 can be rounded off to 534.6(4.s.f) 4 significant figures. You have to always remember that leading zeros do not count as significant numbers, for example;
ExampleRound off 4.024 to three significant figures. Our third most significant figure is a 2. So the answer becomes 4.02 (3.s.f)
Example 2Round off 0.00045308 to 4 significant figures. 5 is our 4th most significant figure. So the answer becomes 0.0004536 (4.s.f)Remember to leave a note at the end of your answer for the level of accuracy the answer has been rounded off to, for example (4.s.f). This will show the degree of accuracy the answer has been rounded off to.And that’s how significant figures work.
Learn more about this topic in the following pages.