Results 1 to 3 of 3

Math Help - Standard Form/Scientific Notation Question.

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Joined
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1

    Standard Form/Scientific Notation Question.

    Hello Everyone, I'm new to the forum. A friend of mine told me how helpful you guys were, and I was wondering if anybody here would answer my question regarding scientific notation.

    I've recently been required to revise scientific notation, which is a subject I havn't studied for many years, and that combined with my mathematical ineptness has led to my confusion.

    I understand it loosely, but came across a question, the answer to which, has thrown me.

    I was asked to calculate the volume of a box, having been given it's length, width and height.

    Width = 2.56 x 10 to the power of -6m
    Length = 1.4 x 10 to the power of -7m
    Height = 2.75 x 10 to the power of -4m

    I simply multiplied the digits together to get 9.856 and then multiplied the powers.

    I ended up with the answer 9.856x10 to the power of -17 m3

    I think that's the correct answer, but doesn't that mean the volume is smaller than each of the length,width and height? Since there's more 0s after the decimal point. How can a volume be smaller? I'm sure I've missed something obvious but I just need a prod in the right direction!

    Thanks in advance to anyone who helps!
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  2. #2
    Senior Member BAdhi's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 2010
    From
    Gampaha, Sri Lanka
    Posts
    252
    Thanks
    6
    i think you cannot compare length and volume by just looking at their values they two different dimensions. So it's possible to have a situation that you've mentioned

    if you really want to compare,

    take 2.56x10^-6 for example

    if it was a volume, it can be taken as 2.56x 10^{-6}x  1 x  1 m^3 <br />
(length= 2.56x10^6m, width= 1m, height= 1m)

    so comparing this with your final answer it should obviously less than this one.

    but of course since it's not a volume you can't compare a length with a volume..
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  3. #3
    MHF Contributor
    Joined
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5,561
    Thanks
    785
    I agree that one cannot compare length and volume as physical magnitudes, though the numerical values, of course, can be compared.

    If a number x is multiplied by another number y that is less than 1, then the result is less than x. For instance, 10 * 0.1 = 1 < 10. Similarly, 0.2 * 0.1 = 0.02 < 0.2. Since each of your dimensions is less than 1, the volume is numerically smaller than each of the dimensions.
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

Similar Math Help Forum Discussions

  1. Scientific notation
    Posted in the Algebra Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: April 22nd 2010, 05:34 PM
  2. scientific notation
    Posted in the Algebra Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: August 6th 2008, 06:47 PM
  3. scientific notation
    Posted in the Algebra Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 23rd 2008, 06:54 AM
  4. Scientific Notation
    Posted in the Algebra Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: May 23rd 2008, 06:01 AM
  5. standard form help with scientific notation
    Posted in the Algebra Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: November 29th 2006, 05:10 AM

Search Tags


/mathhelpforum @mathhelpforum