# How to find the scientific notation for a negative number?

Aug 19, 2014

You would find it the same way you would as a positive number. Take 2,500 for example. 2,500 in scientific notation is:

Scientific Notation formula is $a \cdot {10}^{n}$ where 1 ≤ a < 10

For 2,500, we have:
$2.5 \cdot {10}^{3}$

The only time the sign matters is when the exponent in the scientific notation formula (n) is negative. In which case, you divide by the order of magnitude instead of multiply.

So if we had $2.5 \cdot {10}^{-} 3$, we would simplify this from scientific notation to regular notation by doing this:

$\frac{2.5}{1000} = 0.0025$