University of Edinburgh

BSL Maths Glossary - standard form - Example (symbol n x 10n or 10-n)

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Standard form or Scientific notation is demonstrated here.
Over time, scientists throughout the world have agreed a convention of a short form of writing very long numbers.
So here we have an example. Let me show you how this long number can be written in short form using scientific location.
If I want to write this number using only the first three digits, I put a decimal point after the 2 then x 10 and we need to show how many other digits there are in this number counting from the end of the number up to where we have put the decimal, and in this case it is 6. So we write 2.76 x 10 to the power 6. This is the agreed convention of scientific notation.
With a very small number the idea is the same but we move the decimal in the other direction, down the way, and so it becomes negative.
So if we move the decimal down two places it gives us 5.24 x 10 to the power -2.