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Math Help - Simple scientific notation problem

  1. #1
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    Simple scientific notation problem

    Hi. I'm taking a college algebra course. On our first quiz I have the following task:


    "Evaluate and report the answer in scientific notation (8x10^4)(9x10^-8) (OVER) 2x10^-2"

    When I do the math with a calculator, I get the answer .72 (Or 7.2x10^-1).

    HOWEVER, when I try to work through the whole problem as scientific notation, I end up with a variant of 3.6x10^somethingth

    Could someone please work through the steps for resolving this problem?

    Thank you!
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by blastedcody View Post
    Hi. I'm taking a college algebra course. On our first quiz I have the following task:


    "Evaluate and report the answer in scientific notation (8x10^4)(9x10^-8) (OVER) 2x10^-2"

    When I do the math with a calculator, I get the answer .72 (Or 7.2x10^-1). How did you get this result?

    HOWEVER, when I try to work through the whole problem as scientific notation, I end up with a variant of 3.6x10^somethingth

    Could someone please work through the steps for resolving this problem?

    Thank you!
    \dfrac{(8 \cdot 10^4)(9 \cdot 10^{-8})}{ 2 \cdot 10^{-2}} = \dfrac{8 \cdot 9}2 \cdot 10^{4 - 8 - (-2)} = 36 \cdot 10^{-2} = 3.6 \cdot 10^{-1}
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  3. #3
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    That was an answer that I had gotten before. I must have just done the calculator work incorrectly. Thank you for the help!
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