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You are on page 1of 10

1

Connecting to Your World

1 FOCUS

On January 4, 2004, the Mars Guide for Reading

Exploration Rover Spirit landed on Mars. Equipped with ﬁve scientiﬁc

Key Concepts

Objectives

instruments and a rock abrasion tool (shown at left), Spirit was sent to

• How do measurements relate 3.1.1 Convert measurements to sci-

examine the Martian surface around Gusev Crater, to science?

a wide basin that may have once held a lake. • How do you evaluate accuracy

entific notation.

Each day of its mission, Spirit recorded and precision? 3.1.2 Distinguish among accuracy,

• Why must measurements be

measurements for analysis. This data helped reported to the correct number precision, and error of a mea-

scientists learn about the geology and of signiﬁcant ﬁgures? surement.

climate on Mars. All measurements • How does the precision of a

calculated answer compare 3.1.3 Determine the number of sig-

have some uncertainty. In the chemistry to the precision of the

laboratory, you must strive for accuracy and

nificant figures in a measure-

measurements used to

precision in your measurements. obtain it? ment and in a calculated

Vocabulary answer.

measurement

scientiﬁc notation

Using and Expressing Measurements accuracy

Guide for Reading

Your height (67 inches), your weight (134 pounds), and the speed you drive on precision

the highway (65 miles/hour) are some familiar examples of measurements. A accepted value Build Vocabulary L2

measurement is a quantity that has both a number and a unit. Everyone experimental value

makes and uses measurements. For instance, you decide how to dress in the error

Paraphrase Have students write defi-

morning based on the temperature outside. If you were baking cookies, you percent error nitions of the words accurate and pre-

would measure the volumes of the ingredients as indicated in the recipe. signiﬁcant ﬁgures cise in their own words. As they read

Such everyday situations are similar to those faced by scientists. Reading Strategy the text, have students compare the

Measurements are fundamental to the experimental sciences. For that Building Vocabulary As you definitions with those of accuracy and

reason, it is important to be able to make measurements and to decide read, write a deﬁnition of each key

term in your own words. precision given in the text.

whether a measurement is correct. The units typically used in the sciences

are those of the International System of Measurements (SI). L2

Reading Strategy

In chemistry, you will often encounter very large or very small num-

bers. A single gram of hydrogen, for example, contains approximately Use Prior Knowledge Ask, What

602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 hydrogen atoms. The mass of an atom of everyday activities involve measur-

gold is 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 327 gram. Writing and using such ing? (Examples include buying con-

200,000,000,000. 2 1011

large and small numbers is very cumbersome. You can work more easily

Decimal Exponent is 11

sumer products, doing sports activities,

with these numbers by writing them in scientific, or exponential, notation.

In scientiﬁc notation, a given number is written as the product of

moves and cooking.) Ask students to recall

11 places

two numbers: a coefficient and 10 raised to a power. For example, the to the left. which units of measure are related to

number 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 written in scientific notation is each of the examples they give. Have

6.02 1023. The coefficient in this number is 6.02. In scientific notation, the some students estimate their height in

coefficient is always a number equal to or greater than one and less than inches. Have other students measure

ten. The power of 10, or exponent, in this example is 23. Figure 3.1 illus-

the same students with a yardstick or

trates how to express the number of stars in a galaxy by using scientific

notation. For more practice on writing numbers in scientific notation, refer tape measure. Compare the estimates

to page R56 of Appendix C. with measured values. Ask, What do

you think your height is in centime-

Figure 3.1 Expressing very large numbers, such as the estimated ters? (Acceptable answers range from

number of stars in a galaxy, is easier if scientific notation is used. 130 to 200 centimeters.)

Section 3.1 Measurements and Their Uncertainty 63

2 INSTRUCT

Section Resources

Print Technology Have students study the photograph and

• Guided Reading and Study Workbook, • Interactive Textbook with ChemASAP, read the text that opens the section. Ask,

Section 3.1 Animation 2, Problem-Solving 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, How do you think scientists ensure

• Core Teaching Resources, Section 3.1 3.8, Assessment 3.1 measurements are accurate and pre-

Review cise? (Acceptable answers include that sci-

• Transparencies, T20–T26 entists make multiple measurements by

using the most precise equipment avail-

able. They use samples with known values

to check the reliability of the equipment.)

Scientific Measurement 63

Figure 3.2 The distribution of

Section 3.1 (continued) darts illustrates the difference

between accuracy and precision.

a Good accuracy and good

Using and Expressing precision: The darts are close to

the bull’s-eye and to one

Measurements another. b Poor accuracy and

Use Visuals L1 good precision: The darts are far

from the bull’s-eye but close to

Figure 3.1 Have students study the one another. c Poor accuracy

photograph and read the text that and poor precision: The darts are

far from the bull’s-eye and from a b c

opens the section. Ask, How is the one another.

exponent of a number expressed in Good accuracy Poor accuracy Poor accuracy

Good precision Good precision Poor precision

scientific notation related to the

number of places the decimal point

is moved to the left in a number

larger than 1? (They are equal.) Accuracy, Precision, and Error

Your success in the chemistry lab and in many of your daily activities

depends on your ability to make reliable measurements. Ideally, measure-

Accuracy, Precision, ments should be both correct and reproducible.

and Error Accuracy and Precision Correctness and reproducibility relate to the

concepts of accuracy and precision, two words that mean the same thing to

many people. In chemistry, however, their meanings are quite different.

CLASS Activity Accuracy is a measure of how close a measurement comes to the actual or

true value of whatever is measured. Precision is a measure of how close a

series of measurements are to one another. To evaluate the accuracy

Precision and Accuracy L2

of a measurement, the measured value must be compared to the correct

Purpose To illustrate the concepts of value. To evaluate the precision of a measurement, you must compare

precision and accuracy the values of two or more repeated measurements.

Materials a small object (such as a lead Darts on a dartboard illustrate accuracy and precision in measure-

fishing weight), triple-beam balance ment. Let the bull’s-eye of the dartboard represent the true, or correct,

value of what you are measuring. The closeness of a dart to the bull’s-eye

Procedure Place the object and a

corresponds to the degree of accuracy. The closer it comes to the bull’s-

triple-beam balance in a designated eye, the more accurately the dart was thrown. The closeness of several

area. Set a deadline by which each stu- darts to one another corresponds to the degree of precision. The closer

dent will have measured the mass of together the darts are, the greater the precision and the reproducibility.

the object. After everyone has had an Look at Figure 3.2 as you consider the following outcomes.

opportunity, have students compile a a. All of the darts land close to the bull’s-eye and to one another. Closeness

to the bull’s-eye means that the degree of accuracy is great. Each dart in

summary of all the measurements.

the bull’s-eye corresponds to an accurate measurement of a value.

Illustrate precision by having the stu- Closeness of the darts to one another indicates high precision.

dents find the average and compare b. All of the darts land close to one another but far from the bull’s-eye. The

their measurement to it. precision is high because of the closeness of grouping and thus the high

Expected Outcome Measured values level of reproducibility. The results are inaccurate, however, because of

the distance of the darts from the bull’s-eye.

should be similar, but not necessarily c. The darts land far from one another and from the bull’s-eye. The results

identical for all students. are both inaccurate and imprecise.

Other analogies that may be useful in

explaining precision vs. accuracy:

• casting a fishing line

• pitching horseshoes 64 Chapter 3

• a precision marching band

Striving for Scientific Accuracy

The French chemist, Antoine Lavoisier, escaping. He weighed the water and the

worked hard to establish the importance of flask separately before and after boiling. He

accurate measurement in scientific inquiry. found that the mass of the water had not

Lavoisier devised an experiment to test the changed. The flask, however, lost a small

Greek scientists’ idea that when water was mass equal to the sediment he found in the

heated, it could turn into earth. For 100 days, bottom of it. Lavosier proved that the sedi-

Lavoisier boiled water in a glass flask con- ment was not earth, but part of the flask

structed to allow steam to condense without etched away by the boiling water.

64 Chapter 3

Determining Error Note that an individual measurement may be accu-

Word Origins L2

rate or inaccurate. Suppose you use a thermometer to measure the boiling

Word Origins

Percent comes from the

The phrase per annum means “by

point of pure water at standard pressure. The thermometer reads 99.1°C.

Latin words per, meaning the year.”

You probably know that the true or accepted value of the boiling point of

pure water under these conditions is actually 100.0°C. There is a difference “by” or “through,” and

between the accepted value, which is the correct value based on reliable centum, meaning “100.”

What do you think the Use Visuals L1

references, and the experimental value, the value measured in the lab. The

difference between the accepted value and the experimental value is called phrase per annum Figure 3.2 Have students inspect Fig-

means?

the error. ure 3.2. Ask, If one of the darts in Figure

Error experimental value accepted value 3.2c were closer to the bull’s-eye, what

would happen to the accuracy? (The

Error can be positive or negative depending on whether the experimental accuracy would increase.) What would

value is greater than or less than the accepted value.

For the boiling-point measurement, the error is 99.1°C 100.0°C, or

happen to the precision? (The precision

0.9° C. The magnitude of the error shows the amount by which the exper- would increase.) What is the operational

imental value differs from the accepted value. Often, it is useful to calculate definition of error implied by this fig-

the relative error, or percent error. The percent error is the absolute value of ure? (The error is the distance between the

the error divided by the accepted value, multiplied by 100%. dart and the bull’s-eye.)

0error 0 L2

Percent error

accepted value

100% Discuss

Review the concept of absolute value.

Using the absolute value of the error means that the percent error will

Ask, What is the meaning of a posi-

always be a positive value. For the boiling-point measurement, the percent

error is calculated as follows.

tive error? (Measured value is greater

than accepted value.) What is the

099.1C - 100.0C 0 meaning of a negative error? (Mea-

Percent error 100%

100.0C sured value is less than accepted value.)

0.9C 100%

100.0C Explain that the absolute value of the

error is a positive value that describes

0.009 100%

the difference between the measured

0.9% value and the accepted value, but not

Just because a measuring device works doesn’t necessarily mean that it which is greater.

is accurate. As Figure 3.3 shows, a weighing scale that does not read zero

when nothing is on it is bound to yield error. In order to weigh yourself

accurately, you must first make sure that the scale is zeroed.

not been properly zeroed, so the

reading obtained for the person’s

weight is inaccurate. There is a

difference between the person’s

correct weight and the measured

value. Calculating What is the

percent error of a measured

value of 114 lb if the person’s

actual weight is 107 lb?

Answers to...

Figure 3.3 7%

Checkpoint Accuracy is

determined by comparing a mea-

sured value to the correct value. Pre-

cision is determined by comparing

the values of two or more repeated

measurements.

Scientific Measurement 65

Section 3.1 (continued) Signiﬁcant

Signiﬁcant

FiguresFigures

in Measurements

in Measurements

SupermarketsSupermarkets

often provide often

scales

provide

like the

scales

onelike

in Figure

the one3.4. in Figure

Customers3.4. Customers

use use

Significant Figures in these scalesthese

to measure

scales tothe measure

weightthe of produce

weight ofthatproduce

is pricedthatper

is priced

pound.per If pound. If

you use a scale

you use thataisscale

calibrated

that is in

calibrated

0.1-lb intervals,

in 0.1-lbyouintervals,

can easily

you read

can easily

the read the

Measurements scale to thescale

nearestto thetenth

nearest

of a pound.

tenth ofWith

a pound.

such With

a scale,

suchhowever,

a scale,youhowever,

can you can

also estimate

alsotheestimate

weight theto the

weight

nearest

to the

hundredth

nearest hundredth

of a poundof byanoting

poundthe by noting the

Discuss L2

position ofposition

the pointer of the

between

pointercalibration

between calibration

marks. marks.

Point out that the concept of signifi- Suppose you Suppose

estimate youa estimate

weight that a weight

lies between

that lies2.4between

lb and 2.52.4 lb

lb to

andbe2.5 lb to be

cant figures applies only to measured 2.46 lb. The2.46

number

lb. The innumber

this estimated

in this estimated

measurement measurement

has three digits.

has threeThedigits. The

first two digits

first in

two thedigits

measurement

in the measurement

(2 and 4) are (2 known

and 4) are with known

certainty.

withBut certainty. But

quantities. If students ask why an esti-

the rightmost

the digit

rightmost(6) has digit

been (6)estimated

has been and estimated

involves and some

involves

uncertainty.

some uncertainty.

mated digit is considered significant, These threeThese

reportedthreedigits

reported

all convey

digits useful

all convey

information,

useful information,

however, and however,

are and are

tell them a significant figure is one that called significant

called significant

figures. The figures. The signiﬁcant

signiﬁcant ﬁgures in aﬁgures

measurement

in a measurement

include include

is known to be reasonably reliable. A all of the digits

all ofthat

the are

digits

known,

that areplus

known,

a last digit

plus athat

lastisdigit

estimated.

that is estimated.

Mea- Mea-

careful estimate fits this definition. surements surements

must always must

be reported

always betoreported

the correctto the

number

correct of number

signiﬁcant of signiﬁcant

ﬁg- ﬁg-

ures becauseurescalculated

because answers

calculated often

answers

depend often

ondepend

the number on the ofnumber

signiﬁcant of signiﬁcant

FYI ﬁgures in the

ﬁgures

values inused

the values

in theused

calculation.

in the calculation.

Instruments Instruments

differ in the differ

number

in theofnumber

significant

of significant

figures that figures

can be that can be

When calibration marks on an instru- obtained from

obtained

their from

use andtheirthus

useinand

thethus

precision

in the ofprecision

measurements.

of measurements.

The The

ment are spaced very close together three meterthree

sticks meter

in Figure

sticks3.5

in can

Figure

be used

3.5 can

to be

make

usedsuccessively

to make successively

more pre- more pre-

(e.g., on certain thermometers and cise measurements

cise measurements

of the board. of the board.

graduated cylinders), it is sometimes

more practical to estimate a measure- Figure 3.4 Figure

The precision

3.4 The ofprecision

a of a

weighing scale

weighing

dependsscaleondepends on

ment to the nearest half of the smallest how finely ithow

is calibrated.

finely it is calibrated.

calibrated increment, rather than to Rules forRules

determining

for determining

whether whether

a digit inaadigit

measured

in a measured

the nearest tenth. value is value

signiﬁcant:

is signiﬁcant:

1 Every nonzero

1 Everydigit

nonzero

in a reported

digit in measurement

a reported measurement

is assumed istoassumed

be to be

CLASS Activity signiﬁcant. The

signiﬁcant.

measurements

The measurements

24.7 meters,24.7

0.743meters,

meter,0.743

and 714

meter,

meters

and 714 meters

each express each

a measure

expressofa measure

length toofthree

length

signiﬁcant

to threeﬁgures.

signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

2 Zerosbetween

appearingnonzero

betweendigits

nonzero

are signiﬁcant.

digits areThe

signiﬁcant.

measure-The measure-

Purpose To illustrate how similar ments 7003ments

meters,7003

40.79

meters,

meters,

40.79

andmeters,

1.503 meters

and 1.503

eachmeters

have four

each have four

measurements fom different eras signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

may vary in precision Animation Animation

2 See 2 See 3 Leftmost3zeros

Leftmost

appearing

zerosinappearing

front of nonzero

in front digits

of nonzero

are not

digits

signiﬁcant.

are not signiﬁcant.

Materials Almanacs or Internet access how the accuracy

how theof aaccuracy of a They act as placeholders.

They act as placeholders.

The measurements

The measurements

0.0071 meter,0.0071

0.42 meter,

meter, 0.42 meter,

calculated result

calculated

dependsresult depends

Procedure Have students look up the on the sensitivity

on theofsensitivity

the of the and 0.000 099andmeter

0.000each

099 meter

have only

eachtwo

havesigniﬁcant

only twoﬁgures.

signiﬁcant

The ﬁgures.

zeros The zeros

measuring instruments.

measuring instruments. to the left are

to not

the left

signiﬁcant.

are not By

signiﬁcant.

writing theBy writing

measurements

the measurements

in scien- in scien-

winning times for the men’s and

tiﬁc notation,

tiﬁc

you

notation,

can eliminate

you cansuch

eliminate

placeholding

such placeholding

zeros: in thiszeros:

case,in this case,

women’s 100-meter dashes at the 1948 with ChemASAP

with ChemASAP

7.1 103 meter, 4.23meter,

7.1 10 101 meter,

4.2 10

and1

9.9 10

meter, 5

and 9.9 105 meter.

meter.

and 2000 Olympic Games. Then have

them answer the following question. 4 Zeros at the

4 Zeros

end of

atathe

number

end ofand

a number

to the right

and to

of the

a decimal

right ofpoint

a decimal

are point are

Why do the more recently recorded always signiﬁcant.

alwaysThe

signiﬁcant.

measurements

The measurements

43.00 meters,43.00

1.010

meters,

meters,1.010

andmeters, and

race times contain more digits to the 9.000 meters9.000

eachmeters

have four

eachsigniﬁcant

have fourﬁgures.

signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

technology used for timekeeping

improved to allow for more precise

measurements.)

Expected Outcome Students should 66 Chapter

663 Chapter 3

find that the race times from 1948 were

recorded to the nearest tenth of a

second. The race times from 2000 were

recorded to the nearest hundredth of a

second.

66 Chapter 3

Figure 3.5 Three differently

a Measured length = 0.6 m

Use Visuals L1

calibrated meter sticks are

used to measure the length

of a board. a A meter stick Figure 3.5 As students inspect Figure

calibrated in a 1-m interval. 3.5, model the use of meter stick A by

b A meter stick calibrated in pointing out that one can be certain

1m

0.1-m intervals. c A meter stick

calibrated in 0.01-m intervals. that the length of the board is between

b Measured length = 0.61 m

Measuring How many signifi- 0 and 1 m, and one can say that the

cant figures are reported in each actual length is closer to 1 m. Thus, one

measurement?

can estimate the length as 0.6 m. Simi-

larly, using meter stick B, one can say

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 1m with certainty that the length is

between 60 and 70 cm. Because the

c Measured length = 0.607 m

length is very close to 60 cm, one

should estimate the length as 61 cm or

0.61 m. Have students study meter

stick C and use similar reasoning to

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 1m describe the measurement and estima-

tion process. Ask, If meterstick C were

divided into 0.001-m intervals, as

are most meter sticks, what would

be the estimated length of the board

in meters? (Acceptable answers range

from 0.6065 to 0.6074 m) In millime-

ters? (606.5 to 607.4 mm)

5 Zeros at the rightmost end of a measurement that lie to the left of an Discuss L2

understood decimal point are not signiﬁcant if they serve as place-

holders to show the magnitude of the number. The zeros in the

Be sure to review the role of zeros in

measurements 300 meters, 7000 meters, and 27,210 meters are not determining the number of significant

signiﬁcant. The numbers of signiﬁcant ﬁgures in these values are one, figures. When adding or subtracting

one, and four, respectively. If such zeros were known measured values, numbers expressed in scientific nota-

however, then they would be signiﬁcant. For example, if all of the tion, remind students that the num-

zeros in the measurement 300 meters were signiﬁcant, writing the

bers must all have the same exponent.

value in scientiﬁc notation as 3.00 102 meters makes it clear that

these zeros are signiﬁcant.

of signiﬁcant ﬁgures. The ﬁrst involves counting. If you count

23 people in your classroom, then there are exactly 23 people, and

this value has an unlimited number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures. The second

situation involves exactly deﬁned quantities such as those found

within a system of measurement. When, for example, you write

60 min 1 hr, or 100 cm 1 m, each of these numbers has an unlim-

ited number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures. As you shall soon see, exact quan-

tities do not affect the process of rounding an answer to the correct

number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

Differentiated Instruction

Less Proficient Readers L1

Have students write in their own words the

rules for determining the number of signifi-

cant digits. Help them if necessary. Have

them measure several lengths, masses, and

volumes; then have them use their rules to Answers to...

determine the correct number of significant Figure 3.5 The measurements are:

figures for each measurement. a. 0.6 m (1 significant figure), b. 0.61

m (2 significant figures), c. 0.607 m

(3 significant figures)

Scientific Measurement 67

Section 3.1 (continued) CONCEPTUAL PROBLEM 3.1

CLASS Activity How many signiﬁcant ﬁgures are in each measurement?

a. 123 m b. 40,506 mm

Significant Zeros L2 c. 9.8000 104 m d. 22 meter sticks

e. 0.070 80 m f. 98,000 m

Purpose To provide practice in apply-

ing the rules governing the signifi-

Analyze Identify the relevant concepts. Solve Apply the concepts to this problem.

cance of zeros in measurements

The location of each zero in the measurement All nonzero digits are signiﬁcant (rule 1). Use

Materials textbook and scientific liter- and the location of the decimal point deter- rules 2 through 6 to determine if the zeros are

ature, index cards mine which of the rules apply for determining signiﬁcant.

Procedure Have students search their signiﬁcant ﬁgures. a. three (rule 1) b. ﬁve (rule 2)

c. ﬁve (rule 4) d. unlimited (rule 6)

textbooks and other sources for

e. four (rules 2, 3, 4) f. two (rule 5)

length, mass, volume, or temperature

measurements that contain zeros. Practice Problems

Have them include some examples 1.Practice

Count theProblems

signiﬁcant ﬁgures in each length.

written in scientific notation. Ask them a. 0.057 30 meters b. 8765 meters

to write each measurement on the c. 0.000 73 meters d. 40.007 meters

front of an index card; on the back of 2. How many signiﬁcant ﬁgures are in each Problem-Solving 3.2 Solve

each card, have them write (1) all the measurement? Problem 2 with the help of an

interactive guided tutorial.

rules governing the significance of a. 143 grams b. 0.074 meter

c. 8.750 102 gram d. 1.072 meter with ChemASAP

zeros that apply to the measurement,

and (2) the number of significant fig-

ures in the measurement. Have pairs of

Signiﬁcant Figures in Calculations

students exchange index cards and Suppose you use a calculator to ﬁnd the area of a ﬂoor that measures

agree on the appropriateness of the 7.7 meters by 5.4 meters. The calculator would give an answer of

rules and the answers. 41.58 square meters. The calculated area is expressed to four signiﬁcant ﬁg-

Expected Outcome Students should ures. However, each of the measurements used in the calculation is

expressed to only two signiﬁcant ﬁgures. So the answer must also be

be able to apply correctly rules 2–5

reported to two signiﬁcant ﬁgures (42 m2). In general, a calculated

listed on pages 66 and 67. answer cannot be more precise than the least precise measurement from

which it was calculated. The calculated value must be rounded to make it

CONCEPTUAL PROBLEM 3.1 consistent with the measurements from which it was calculated.

Rounding To round a number, you must ﬁrst decide how many signiﬁ-

Answers cant ﬁgures the answer should have. This decision depends on the given

1. a. 4 b. 4 c. 2 d. 5 measurements and on the mathematical process used to arrive at the

2. a. 3 b. 2 c. 4 d. 4 answer. Once you know the number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures your answer

should have, round to that many digits, counting from the left. If the digit

Practice Problems Plus L2 immediately to the right of the last signiﬁcant digit is less than 5, it is

Chapter 3 Assessment problem 58 is simply dropped and the value of the last signiﬁcant digit stays the same. If

the digit in question is 5 or greater, the value of the digit in the last signif-

related to Sample Problem 3.1. icant place is increased by 1.

FYI Checkpoint Why must a calculated answer generally be rounded?

Due to rounding, there will often be

discrepancies between actual values

and calculated values derived from 68 Chapter 3

measurements. Some students may

conclude (correctly) that following the

rules for significant figures introduces

error in calculated values. Such round-

ing errors are generally small, but

should nonetheless be acknowledged

when performing calculations.

68 Chapter 3

Significant Figures in

Calculations

Round off each measurement to the number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures 3. a. 8.71 × 101 m

shown in parentheses. Write the answers in scientiﬁc notation. b. 4.36 × 108 m

a. 314.721 meters (four)

c. 1.55 × 10–2 m

b. 0.001 775 meter (two)

c. 8792 meters (two)

d. 9.01 × 103 m

e. 1.78 × 10–3 m

Analyze Identify the relevant concepts. f. 6.30 × 102 m

Round off each measurement to the number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures

4. a. 9 × 101 m

indicated. Then apply the rules for expressing numbers in scientiﬁc

notation.

b. 4 × 108 m

c. 2 × 10–2 m

Solve Apply the concepts to this problem. d. 9 × 103 m

Count from the left and apply the rule to the digit immediately to the

e. 2 × 10–3 m

right of the digit to which you are rounding. The arrow points to the

digit immediately following the last signiﬁcant digit.

f. 6 × 102 m

a. 314.721 meters Practice Problems Plus L2

c

2 is less than 5, so you do not round up. Round each measurement to two sig-

314.7 meters 3.147 102 meters nificant figures. Write your answers in

b. 0.001 775 meter Math Handbook scientific notation.

c

7 is greater than 5, so round up. For help with scientiﬁc a. 94.592 grams (9.5 × 101g)

0.0018 meter 1.8 103 meter notation, go to page R56.

b. 2.4232 × 103 grams (2.4 × 103g)

c. 8792 meters c. 0.007 438 grams (7.4 × 10–3g)

d. 54 752 grams (5.5 × 104g)

c

9 is greater than 5, so round up

8800 meters 8.8 103 meters e. 6.0289 × 10–3 grams (6.0 × 10–3 g)

Practice Problems f. 405.11 grams (4.1 × 102g)

Evaluate Do the results make sense?

The rules for rounding and for writing numbers in scientiﬁc notation

have been correctly applied.

Math Handbook

Practice Problems

For a math refresher and practice,

Problem-Solving 3.3 Solve

3. Round each measurement to 4. Round each measurement in Problem 3 with the help of an

direct students to scientific notation,

three signiﬁcant ﬁgures. Write Practice Problem 3 to one sig- interactive guided tutorial. page R56.

your answers in scientiﬁc niﬁcant ﬁgure. Write each of with ChemASAP

notation. your answers in scientiﬁc

a. 87.073 meters notation.

b. 4.3621 108 meters

c. 0.01552 meter

d. 9009 meters

e. 1.7777 103 meter

f. 629.55 meters

Answers to...

Checkpoint A calculated

answer must be rounded in order to

make it consistent with the

measurements from which it was

calculated. The calculated answer

cannot be more precise than the

least precise measurement used in

the calculation.

Scientific Measurement 69

Section 3.1 (continued) Addition and Subtraction The answer to an addition or subtraction

calculation should be rounded to the same number of decimal places (not

Discuss L2 digits) as the measurement with the least number of decimal places. Work

through Sample Problem 3.2 below which provides an example of rounding

The rules for rounding calculated num- in an addition calculation.

bers can be compared with the old

adage,“A chain is only as strong as its

SAMPLE PROBLEM 3.2

weakest link.” Explain that an answer

cannot be more precise than the least Signiﬁcant Figures in Addition

precise value used to calculate the Calculate the sum of the three measurements. Give the answer to the

answer. Ask, In addition and subtrac- correct number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

tion, what is the least precise value? 12.52 meters ⫹ 349.0 meters ⫹ 8.24 meters

(The measurement with the fewest digits

Analyze Identify the relevant concepts.

to the right of the decimal point.) In mul- Calculate the sum and then analyze each measurement to determine

tiplication and division, what is the the number of decimal places required in the answer.

least precise value? (The measurement

Solve Apply the concepts to this problem.

with the fewest significant figures.) If stu-

Align the decimal points and add the numbers. Round the answer to

dents wonder why addition and subtrac- match the measurement with the least number of decimal places.

tion rules differ from multiplication and

12.52 meters

division rules, point out that in addition 349.0 meters

and subtraction of measurements, the Math + 8.24 meters

Handbook

measurements are of the same property, 369.76 meters

such as length or volume. However, in For help with signiﬁcant

ﬁgures, go to page R59.

The second measurement (349.0 meters) has the least number of digits

the multiplication and division of mea- (one) to the right of the decimal point. Thus the answer must be

surements, new quantities or properties rounded to one digit after the decimal point. The answer is rounded to

are being described, such as speed 369.8 meters, or 3.698 ⫻ 102 meters.

(length ÷ time), area (length × length), Evaluate Does the result make sense?

and density (mass ÷ volume). The mathematical operation has been correctly carried out and the

resulting answer is reported to the correct number of decimal places.

Express your answers to the diamonds that have masses of

5. a. 79.2 m b. 7.33 m c. 11.53 m

correct number of signiﬁcant 14.2 grams, 8.73 grams, and

d. 17.3 m ﬁgures. 0.912 gram.

Problem-Solving 3.6 Solve

6. 23.8 g Problem 6 with the help of an a. 61.2 meters ⫹ 9.35 meters ⫹

interactive guided tutorial. 8.6 meters

Practice Problems Plus L2

with ChemASAP b. 9.44 meters ⫺ 2.11 meters

Find the total mass of four stones c. 1.36 meters ⫹ 10.17 meters

with the following masses: 10.32 d. 34.61 meters ⫺ 17.3 meters

grams, 11.81 grams, 124.678 grams,

and 0.9129 gram. (147.72 g)

Math Handbook

For a math refresher and review,

direct students to scientific notation, 70 Chapter 3

page R56.

Math Handbook

Answers

For a math refresher and practice,

7. a. 1.8 × 101 m2 b. 6.75 × 102 m direct students to using a calculator,

c. 5.87 × 10–1 min page R62.

8. 1.3 × 103 m3

Practice Problems Plus L2

Calculate the volume of a house that has

dimensions of 12.52 meters by 36.86

meters by 2.46 meters. (1.14 × 103 m3)

70 Chapter 3

Multiplication and Division In calculations involving multiplication

and division, you need to round the answer to the same number of signiﬁ- Quick LAB

cant ﬁgures as the measurement with the least number of signiﬁcant ﬁg-

ures. The position of the decimal point has nothing to do with the rounding

process when multiplying and dividing measurements. The position of the L2

decimal point is important only in rounding the answers of addition or

Accuracy and Precision

subtraction problems. Objectives After completing this activ-

ity, students will be able to

Checkpoint How many signiﬁcant ﬁgures must you round an answer to • measure length with accuracy and

when performing multiplication or division? precision.

• apply rules for rounding answers cal-

SAMPLE PROBLEM 3.3 culated from measurements.

Signiﬁcant Figures in Multiplication and Division • determine experimental error and

Perform the following operations. Give the answers to the correct express it as percent error.

number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

a. 7.55 meters ⫻ 0.34 meter

b. 2.10 meters ⫻ 0.70 meter

c. 2.4526 meters ⫼ 8.4

Students may contend that making

Perform the required math operation and then analyze each of the

original numbers to determine the correct number of signiﬁcant

one measurement of some property,

ﬁgures required in the answer. such as length, is satisfactory. Ask,

What possible errors may occur

Solve Apply the concepts to this problem.

Math Handbook when making only one length mea-

Round the answers to match the measurement with the least number

of signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

surement? (Acceptable answers include

For help with using a

a. 7.55 meters ⫻ 0.34 meter ⫽ 2.567 (meter)2 ⫽ 2.6 meters2 calculator, go to page R62. misreading the ruler or not holding the

(0.34 meter has two signiﬁcant ﬁgures) ruler parallel to the length of the object.)

b. 2.10 meters ⫻ 0.70 meter ⫽ 1.47 (meter)2 ⫽ 1.5 meters2

(0.70 meter has two signiﬁcant ﬁgures)

Skills Focus Measuring, calculating

c. 2.4526 meters ⫼ 8.4 ⫽ 0.291 976 meter ⫽ 0.29 meter

(8.4 has two signiﬁcant ﬁgures)

Prep Time 5 minutes

Materials 3 inch × 5 inch index cards,

Evaluate Do the results make sense? metric rulers

The mathematical operations have been performed correctly, and the

Class Time 15 minutes

resulting answers are reported to the correct number of places.

Teaching Tips

Practice Problems

Emphasize that students should use an

7. Solve each problem. Give your 8. Calculate the volume of a Problem-Solving 3.8 Solve interior, marked line, such as 10.0 cm, as

Problem 8 with the help of an

answers to the correct num- warehouse that has inside the initial point, instead of the end of the

interactive guided tutorial.

ber of signiﬁcant ﬁgures and dimensions of 22.4 meters by ruler, which may be damaged.

with ChemASAP

in scientiﬁc notation. 11.3 meters by 5.2 meters.

a. 8.3 meters ⫻ 2.22 meters (Volume ⫽ l ⫻ w ⫻ h) Expected Outcome Measured values

b. 8432 meters ⫼ 12.5 should be similar, but not necessarily

c. 35.2 seconds ⫻ 1 minute identical for all students.

60 seconds

Analyze and Conclude

1. Four for length; three for width

2. See Expected Outcome.

71 3. Significant digits for rounded-off

answers are area, 3, and perimeter, 4.

Some students may not round to the

proper number of digits.

For Enrichment L3 4. Errors of ±0.03 cm are acceptable.

Have students devise methods of calculating number of cards and divide by the number of Such errors yield percent errors of

the volume of one card. Point out that measur- cards.) Have students determine the thickness 0.2% for length and 0.4% for width.

ing the thickness of one card with a ruler would of one card and calculate its volume. Using the

be very inaccurate. Ask, How might the mea- class average of the calculated volumes, have

surement of the thickness of the card be each student determine the percent error Answers to...

improved? (Use a more precise instrument, such using the average as the accepted value.

as a micrometer, or measure the thickness of a Checkpoint The same num-

ber of significant figures as the mea-

surement with the least number of

significant figures.

Scientific Measurement 71

Quick LAB

Section 3.1 (continued)

Accuracy and Precision

3 ASSESS

Purpose Procedure

Evaluate Understanding L2 To measure the dimensions 1. Use a metric ruler to measure in centi-

Write the following sets of measure- of an object as accurately meters the length and width of an

and precisely as possible index card as accurately and precisely

ments on the board. and to apply rules for round- as you can. The hundredths place

(1) 78°C, 76°C, 75°C ing answers calculated in your measurement should be

(2) 77°C, 78°C, 78°C from the measurements. estimated.

(3) 80°C, 81°C, 82°C 2. Calculate the perimeter [2 (length

Materials width)] and the area (length width)

Ask, If these sets of measurements • card

3 inch 5 inch index 3. How many signiﬁcant ﬁgures are in

of the index card. Write both your

were made of the boiling point of a unrounded answers and your correctly

your calculated value for the area? In

liquid under similar conditions, • metric ruler rounded answers on the chalkboard.

your calculated value for the perime-

ter? Do your rounded answers have as

explain which set is the most pre- many signiﬁcant ﬁgures as your class-

Analyze and Conclude

cise? (Set 2 is the most precise because 1. How many signiﬁcant ﬁgures are in mates’ measurements?

the three measurements are closest your measurements of length and 4. Assume that the correct (accurate)

together.) What would have to be of width? length and width of the card are

known to determine which set is the 2. How do your measurements compare 12.70 cm and 7.62 cm, respectively.

with those of your classmates? Calculate the percent error for each of

most accurate? (the accepted value of your two measurements.

the liquid’s boiling point)

Reteach L1

Use Figure 3.5 to reteach the method

of correctly recording the number of 3.1 Section Assessment

significant figures in a measurement.

Then have students convert each mea- 9. Key Concept How do measurements relate to 15. Solve the following and express each answer in

experimental science? scientiﬁc notation and to the correct number of

surement into scientific notation. signiﬁcant ﬁgures.

10. Key Concept How are accuracy and precision

(6 × 10–1 m, 6.1 × 10–1 m, 6.07 × 10–1 m) a. (5.3 104) (1.3 104)

evaluated?

b. (7.2 104) (1.8 103)

11. Key Concept Why must a given measurement

c. 104 103 106

always be reported to the correct number of sig-

d. (9.12 101) (4.7 102)

niﬁcant ﬁgures?

e. (5.4 104) (3.5 109)

12. Key Concept How does the precision of a cal-

Acceptable answers will include the

culated answer compare to the precision of the

following information: Accuracy measurements used to obtain it?

compares a measured value to an 13. A technician experimentally determined the Explanatory Paragraph Explain the differences

accepted value of the measurement, boiling point of octane to be 124.1°C. The actual between the accuracy, precision, and error of a

precision compares a measured value boiling point of octane is 125.7°C. Calculate the measurement.

to a set of measurements made under error and the percent error.

similar conditions, and error is the 14. Determine the number of signiﬁcant ﬁgures in

difference between the measured and each of the following.

a. 11 soccer players b. 0.070 020 meter

accepzzted values. c. 10,800 meters d. 5.00 cubic meters Assessment 3.1 Test yourself

on the concepts in Section 3.1.

with ChemASAP

72 Chapter 3

Interactive Textbook, use it to

review key concepts in Section 3.1. Section 3.1 Assessment

with ChemASAP 9. Making correct measurements is funda- 12. A calculated answer cannot be more pre-

mental to the experimental sciences. cise than the least precise measurement

10. Accuracy is the measured value compared used in the calculation.

to the correct values. Precision is compar- 13. error = –1.6°C; percent error = 1.3%

ing more than one measurement. 14. a. unlimited b. 5 c. 3 d. 3

11. The significant figures in a calculated 15. a. 6.6 × 104 b. 4.0 × 10–7 c. 107

answer often depend on the number of d. 8.65 × 10–1 e. 1.9 × 1014

significant figures of the measurements

used in the calculation.

72 Chapter 3

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