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Scientific Notation

Scientific Notation

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Published by Nick Dahlheim
A worksheet I created for a student teaching how to solve equations using scientific notation.
A worksheet I created for a student teaching how to solve equations using scientific notation.

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Published by: Nick Dahlheim on Jan 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/27/2013

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 Scientific Notation
Definition: A way to conveniently write numbers that are too large or small to be written instandardized decimal notation. Scientific notation also serves to make calculations of extremelylarge or small numbers easier.Form:
a
×
10
b
Where ‘
a
’ is the absolute value of an integer greater than or equal to
1.0
and less than or equalto
9.9
and ‘
b
’ is a whole number exponent number. Scientific notation can be used torepresent negative numbers, therefore ‘
a
’ is determined by absolute value.(From
Wikipedia
 
 
): Examples of using scientific notation in the real world:# An electron's mass is about
0.00000000000000000000000000000091093822kg
. In scientific notation, this is written
9.1093822×10
−31
kg.
# The Earth's mass is about
5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg
. In scientificnotation, this is written
5.9736×10
24
kg.
# The Earth's circumference is about
40000000 m
. In scientific notation, this is
4×10
7
m
.Converting Standardized Decimal Notation into Scientific NotationStep 1: Move the decimal the desired number of places to the left or the right so that the ‘
a
’ termwill be between
1.0
and
9.9
.Example:) Converting
806.742
from standardized decimal notation into scientific notation.So I change
806.742
to
8.06742
by moving the decimal
two places to the left 
.Step 2: Since I moved the decimal
two places to the left 
, I multiply by
10
2
 
(If I had moved the decimal
two places to the right 
 
 ,
I would have multiplied by
10
-2
).Step 3: Write in
a
×
10
b
form.Example (cont.):
8.06742
and make it ‘
a
’. The
10
2
gotten from doing Step #2 is the
10
b
term.Step 4: Final answer 
8.06742
X
10
2
 
 
Step 5:
Check!!!
Converting Scientific Notation into Standardized Decimal Notation:Step 1: Change the ‘
a
’ term into standard notation so that it doesn’t have to be an absolute valuenumber between
1.0
and
9.9
.Step 2: Move the decimal ‘
b
’ spaces to the right if the power in the
10
b
term is positive; movethe ‘
b
’ spaces to the left if the power in the
10
b
term is negativeExample:)
2.078
×
10
5
. The
b
’ term is negative (
-5
), so I will be moving the decimal
 
5 places to the left of its current location in the ‘a’ 
 
term in exampleabove
.
 After moving the decimal
5 places to the left 
,
we get the number 
0.00002078
.
Step 3:
Check!!!
Adding and subtracting numbers in scientific notationStep 1: Change all addition or subtraction terms so that each has the same
10
b
term.Example:)
(3.84
×
10
4
)
+
(2.98
×
10
5
)
So, we will express the second term “
2.98
×
10
5
” in terms of 
a
×
10
4
.Step 2: Multiply and/or divide the second term in order for it to be raised to the same power asthe first term (adding and/or subtracting the powers, respectively).Example (cont.):
10
-5
 
changed into
10
-4
results from adding “
+1
” to “
-5
” to equal “
-4
.
Because I addedexponents, the second term
2.98
×
10
5
becomes
0.298
×
10
4
as
adding 
exponents requires
moving 
the
decimal point to the left---in this example one decimal place to the left (-5+1=4)
.Step 3: Adding the ‘
a
’ terms.Example (cont. 2):
(3.84
×
10
4
)
+
(0.298
×
10
4
)
−−−>
3.84
+
0.298(4.138
×
10
4
)
Step 4: Check the new ‘
a
’ term gotten in step #3.
Is it greater than or equal to 1.0and less than or equal to
9.9
? If you can answer yes to this question,
 
you are done.If the answer is no, move the final decimal point so that the ‘
a
’ term isgreater than or equal to 1.0 and less than or equal to
9.9
. Follow the procedures for converting a standardized decimal number to scientificnotation as per the earlier examples.
Step 5:
Check!!!
Multiplying numbers in scientific notation
 x 
0
 x 
1
=
a
0
a
1
×
10
b
0
+
b
1
Step 1: Multiply the ‘
a
’ termsExample:)
(1.89
×
10
6
)
×
(3.50
×
10
3
)
--
 
1.89
×
3.52 _____6.6528
Step 2: Add the powers (‘
b
’ terms), keeping the 10 as the base number.Example (cont.):
10
6
;10
3
>
Add the 6 and -3--> Equals-3
 
10
-3
Step 3: Combine the ‘
a
’ terms and the now similar ‘
b
’ terms.Example (cont. 2):
6.6528
×
10
3
Step 4:
Check!!!
Dividing numbers in scientific notation
 x 
0
 x 
1
=
a
0
a
1
×
10
b
0
b
1
Step 1: Divide the ‘
a
’ terms.Example: )
4.56
×
10
12
2.28
×
10
8
Dividing the 'a' terms...4.562.58
=
2.584.562
)
=
2
Step 2: Subtract the exponents, keeping 10 as the base term.

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