The Importance of Numbers in Chemistry

529 WordsJan 31, 20182 Pages
In chemistry, numbers are very important in making calculations as well as collecting and recording data. Because numbers are so prevalent in this field of study, many chemists find it important to use very precise numbers. Their best way of doing so is through significant figures. The significant figures for any number are the numbers that carry meaning contributing to that numbers precision. In order for a number to be significant, it must follow a series of rules. For example, only zeroes that are between two non-zero numbers or zeroes that both are to the right of a decimal and follow a number greater than zero can be considered significant figures. In addition, any number greater than zero is considered a significant figure, despite where it is located in a numerical value. These rules that help clarify the significant figures of a value are just a few of the many rules that pertain to significant figures. When it comes to calculations, the rules for the number of significant figures a product or quotient can have, differs from those of the number of significant figures a sum or difference can. In multiplication and division calculations, the product and quotient are expected to be rounded to the same number of significant figures as the least precise piece of data in the calculation. In addition and subtraction, the sum and difference are expected to be rounded to the same number of decimal places as the least precise piece of data. In any calculation, the significant
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