Significant Figures: Rules and Examples

Feb 3rd, 2012
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A seven page quick reference guide for significant figures rules as might be used in a general chemistry college course. Rounding, multiplication, addition and logarithm rules are given as well as over fifty highly detailed examples with explanations. Tired of losing points for significant figures in homework and lab? Keep this guide handy as you work through calculations.

Word Count: 2457
Showing Page: 1/8
A few notes on this guide:The purpose of this guide is to list the rules for significant figures as they may be presented in a general chemistrycourse or high school chemistry classI hope that it serves as a quick and convenient reference that can easily bechecked as the student does homeworks and labs.Its far easier to grasp significant figure rules when they are demonstrated through examples as opposed to whenthey are simply left as convoluted statements to be memorized. To that end, this guide presents the rules and thenfollows those rules with numerous examples accompanied by detailed explanations. There are more than fiftyexamples in this guide, many were carefully crafted to illustrate unique situations that the math sometimes throwsour way.Ive attempted to be consistent in color lettering throughout this guide: red lettering highlights the significant figuresthat are relevant to a problem, blue indicates a final answer. Green is used for various notes. Apologies if you haveonly a black/white printer, but I do believe that the coloring permits the author to sufficiently draw the readersattention to important pieces.This guide does not address the necessity of significant figures, so the question why do I need to do this? will haveto be answered by your instructor, textbook, or perhaps even your religious advisor in the case of the deeperexistential meaning.Instructions for reading instruments to accurately account for significant figure

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