# What is mantissa? Please

##### 1 Answer

The **mantissa** is the part of a number written in scientific notation that shows the "pattern" of the number (as opposed to the scale of the number).

#### Explanation:

When a regular number is written in **scientific notation**, it is written with two significant components:

**mantissa**, and

**exponent**.

The **exponent** is always the number of times the **mantissa** pattern needs to be multiplied by

For example the regular number

or, (less common these days) as

In either form the

In standard scientific notation, the mantissa is always written with one non-zero digit to the left of the decimal point.

So, for example, while **standard scientific notation** which would be

It should also be noted that for values with small magnitudes (absolute values less than 1), the **exponent** may be **negative** indicating the number of times the mantissa would need to be **divided** by

For example