What is scientific notation used for?
Scientific notation is used to write numbers that are too big or too small to be conveniently written in decimal form.
In scientific notation, we write a number in the form
For example, we write 350 as
In normalized or standard scientific notation, we write only one digit before the decimal point in
Thus, we write 350 as
This form allows easy comparison of numbers, as the exponent
For huge numbers such as Avogadro’s number, it is much easier to write
For tiny numbers such as the mass of a hydrogen atom, it is easier to write
Another reason to use scientific notation is this:
Most of the zeroes in a number such as
Writing the number as