How many significant figures will the answer of the problem below have?

24.789 x 14.5

1 Answer
Dec 1, 2016


The answer will have three significant figures.


My calculator says that

#"24.789 × 14.5 = 359.440 5000"#

However, the rules for significant figures in multiplication say:

The #sfcolor(red)("smallest")# number of significant figures in any number in the problem determines the number of significant figures in the answer.

The number 14.5 has the fewest significant figures (three), so the answer can have only three significant figures.

We start at the left and count 3 digits to the right #359color(red)("|")".440 5000"#.

We drop all the remaining digits and round off appropriately.

The answer becomes #359#, and it has three significant figures.