My Math Forum Significant figures

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 November 30th, 2012, 07:20 AM #1 Member   Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 44 Thanks: 0 Significant figures Hey I just need a little help (6.37 x 10^6 m) x 2 = 12.47 x 10^6 m^2 but with significant figures it should be the least precise value for an answer since 2 is the least precise value in the question, should the answer be 13 x 10^6 m^2 ? its just confusing me a bit since 2 is just one significant figure and well 13 is two significant figures sorry if this sounds so stupid! Many thanks
 November 30th, 2012, 02:05 PM #2 Global Moderator   Joined: May 2007 Posts: 6,684 Thanks: 658 Re: Significant figures It depends on context. 2 may be exact.
 December 1st, 2012, 06:49 AM #3 Member   Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 44 Thanks: 0 Re: Significant figures Hi mathman Yes 2 is an exact value in this case (2 isn't any measurement or anything, its simply multiplying by 2) (6.37 x 10^6 m) is the measurement of the radius of the earth (I'm just finding out the diameter) . if that helps but still unsure where I should go from here
 December 1st, 2012, 07:16 AM #4 Member   Joined: Mar 2012 Posts: 44 Thanks: 0 Re: Significant figures Now thinking about, would it be to 3 s.f ? since 2 isn't a measurement, its just doubling a measurement? so the least precise value is only 6.37 x 10^6 m
 December 1st, 2012, 04:06 PM #5 Global Moderator   Joined: May 2007 Posts: 6,684 Thanks: 658 Re: Significant figures You started with 6.37 which to be precise (I assume) is 6.37 ± .005. When you double it you then have 12.74 ± .01. Significant figures is a rough term.

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how many signifcant figures in 6.37*10^6

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