A Guide to the GRE/Scientific Notation

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Scientific Notation[edit]

In scientific notation, move the number left of the units digit once for each power of 10, or right of the decimal point for each negative power of 10.

1.76642 x 1018 = 1,766,420,000,000,000,000

1.76642 x 10-18 = .0000000000000000176642

Scientific notation is a method of expressing very large or very small numbers. It consists of a single number multiplied by a power of 10.

Practice[edit]

1. What is 18,221 expressed in scientific notation?

2. What is 6.5438 x 1011 expressed in conventional notation?

3. Express .0000652 in scientific notation.

Answers to Practice Questions[edit]

1. 1.8221 x 104

Move the decimal place to the left of the first number, then multiply by a power of 10 for each place you slid it to the right, or by a negative power of 10 for each place you slid it to the left.

2. 654,380,000,000

Slide the decimal place to the right once for each power of ten. Add a zero if there is no number to slide.

3. 6.52 x 10-5

Move the decimal place to the left of the first number, then multiply by a power of 10 for each place you slid it to the right, or by a negative power of 10 for each place you slid it to the left.