# scientific notation

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## scientific notation,

means of expressing very large or very small numbers in a compact form that is easy to use in computations. In this notation, any number is expressed as a number between 1 and 10 multiplied by a power of 10 that indicates the correct position of the decimal point in the original number; numbers greater than 10 are expressed by positive powers of 10 and numbers less than 1 are expressed by negative powers of 10 (see exponentexponent,
in mathematics, a number, letter, or algebraic expression written above and to the right of another number, letter, or expression called the base. In the expressions x2 and xn, the number 2 and the letter n
). For example, 43,700 is written in scientific notation as 4.37 × 104 and 0.00526 as 5.26 × 10−3. The larger the converted number, the more compactness is achieved: for example, the speed of light, about 30,000,000,000 cm per sec, becomes 3 × 1010 cm per sec. Calculations are greatly simplified by use of scientific notation: the first parts of a pair of numbers to be multiplied or divided are combined manually or by slide rule and the powers of 10 are added or subtracted in accordance with the rules for exponents. If the first part of the result is greater than 10, an adjustment is made. For example, in order to multiply 832,000 by 0.00035, one converts first to scientific notation as follows: (832,000)×(0.00035)=(8.32×105)×(3.5×10−4)=8.32×3.5×105×10−4=29.12×101=2.912×102 (in scientific notation) or 291.2 (in ordinary notation).

## scientific notation

[‚sī·ən¦tif·ik nō′tā·shən]
(computer science)
The display of numbers in which a base number, representing the significant digits, is followed by a number representing the power of 10 to which the base number is raised.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

## scientific notation

The display of numbers in floating point form. The number (mantissa) is always equal to or greater than one and less than 10, and the base is 10. For example, 2.345E6 is equivalent to 2,345,000. The number following E (exponent) represents the power to which the base should be raised (number of zeros following the decimal point).
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References in periodicals archive ?
The SMART Board 'Powers' manipulative is capable of displaying the last digits of 61 through 619 before the numbers become too large to display without scientific notation.
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* What are the benefits of using exponents and scientific notation?
If your students keep filling down for a large number of cells (ask them how many?), they will notice that the numbers change to scientific notation (1.34E+08) after a few rows.
The left-hand column shows the common scientific notation. You will note that these bands divide at multiples of three.
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ImagiCalc lets students display values in floating point, fixed point, scientific notation, or engineering notation.
One day Matt was playing with my scientific calculator and entered a multiplication problem for which the product was expressed in scientific notation. After hearing my brief explanation of scientific notation, he began entering a multiplication problem with many factors, each of which had several zeros for digits.
The scientific notation -- raising all numbers to the power of 10 -- was needed to add and subtract exponents to find an answer.
It handles names and addresses intelligently, parsing into components, gender, etc.; converts string output to upper case, lower case, proper case, mixed case--with intelligent handling of capitalization exceptions like McDonald, O'Rourke, WordPerfect, etc.; and converts numeric information from decimal, hex, or scientific to decimal, hex, or scientific notation. Output can be as fixed-format, delimited, mailmerge, or dBase.

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