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Math Help - Significant Figures

  1. #1
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    Significant Figures

    Hi,

    I am given an calculation, (517.50 - 217.9)/5.3, and I am supposed to evaluate it to the correct amount of significant figures. I come out with 56.5, but it is incorrect. What am I doing wrong?
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  2. #2
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    e^(i*pi)'s Avatar
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    Re: Significant Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Bashyboy View Post
    Hi,

    I am given an calculation, (517.50 - 217.9)/5.3, and I am supposed to evaluate it to the correct amount of significant figures. I come out with 56.5, but it is incorrect. What am I doing wrong?
    56.5 has three significant figures but 5.3 only has two significant figures.

    I have explained further in the spoiler if you are unsure what I meant above.
    Spoiler:
    Round your answer to two significant figures since answers (and only answers) should be rounded to the least accurate value given (i.e.: the value with the fewest significant figures.

    You should get 57 as an answer
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  3. #3
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Re: Significant Figures

    Quote Originally Posted by e^(i*pi) View Post
    56.5 has three significant figures but 5.3 only has two significant figures.

    I have explained further in the spoiler if you are unsure what I meant above.
    Spoiler:
    Round your answer to two significant figures since answers (and only answers) should be rounded to the least accurate value given (i.e.: the value with the fewest significant figures.

    You should get 57 as an answer
    The interval answer is slightly larger than [56,57], or the answer is ~56.53 +/- 0.55, which is close to being 2 significant digits but not quite there.


    CB
    Last edited by CaptainBlack; September 11th 2011 at 02:28 PM.
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