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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you determine the number of significant figures?

The number of significant figures is determined by starting with the leftmost non-zero digit. The leftmost non-zero digit is sometimes called the most significant digit or the most significant figure. For example, in the number 0.004205 the '4' is the most significant figure.

What is the correct amount of significant figures?

A significant figure is any non-zero digit or any embedded or trailing zero. Leading zeros are not significant. The number may be rounded or padded with zeros to give it the correct number of significant figures. When multiplying values together, your result is only as significant as your least significant value.

How do you count significant figures?

Zeros appearing in front of nonzero digits are not significant. Zeros at the end of a number and to the right of a decimal are significant. Zeros at the end of a number but to the left of a decimal may or may not be significant. If such a zero has been measured, or is the first estimated digit, it is significant.

How do you multiply significant figures?

The use of significant figures in case of multiplication follows the following rule: In this rule, we count the significant figures in each number, not the number of decimal places and when numbers are multiplied. The answer would have no more significant figures than the least approximated number.

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