Scientific Notation

Scientific notation is used to express very large and small numbers. Scientific notation allows large and small numbers to be used to express quantities and solve mathematical problems.

Writing Numbers with Scientific Notation


It is the product of two numbers. Numbers written in scientific notation are written in two parts (factors):

The first part is a decimal with one digit to the left of the decimal and the rest of digitals are the right of the decimal.

The second number is a power of 10

It looks like this.

Changing Numbers in Standard Form to Scientific Notation


The first part of a number is a decimal that is between 1 to 10, not including 10, multiplied by a power of 10. The exponent can be positive or negative.

Here is an example:

standard form to scientific notation

Changing Numbers in Scientific Notation to Standard Form


To change a number from scientific notation to standard form, move the decimal either right (positive exponent) or left (negative exponent). The decimal is moved based on the number of the exponent.

Here is an example.

Use a calculator


Most scientific calculators have functions that will allow you to convert numbers between standard form and scientific notation.

Watch the Tutorial


Learn about exponents.

For online tutoring and check out my interactive math classes on Outschool.

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