# Why Do Lincoln Use Significant Figures

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Any good chemist would understand that when Abraham Lincoln said “four score and seven years ago” he was actually using significant figures. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th while Lincoln delivered this speech on November 19th. This means that it actually occurred four score, seven years, four months, and 12 days before. Admittedly that does not roll off the tongue as smoothly, so it’s understandable that Lincoln would only use two significant figures. Significant figures are the reason that the beginning lines of the Gettysburg address will forever be remembered by Eighth graders across the country. Without the use of significant figures, numbers in chemistry wouldn’t have any meaning. I could say 2g when I’m really …show more content…

If you are given a measurement of 4g and a measurement of 4.0001g, you would understand that the equipment used to measure 4.0001g is much more precise than the equipment used to measure 4g. Although significant figures tell us about the precision of the measurement, we really cannot attest to the accuracy of the measurement unless we are sure of the correct answer. The same rule about the estimated digit is applied when taking measurement. The way to report an analog measurement is to write down all the digits you are “confident” in and estimate one digit further. For example, if using a 10ml graduated cylinder with nine markings in between the numbers 1ml and 2ml and the liquid falls between 1.5ml and 1.6ml, but closer to 1.5ml, the digits you are confident in are 1 and 5. Therefore you estimate another digit which you think it could be such as 1.53ml. When making a digital measurement, the rule is to always write down every digit while understanding that the last digit is an estimation. There are also a few important differences between the course policy and the textbook. One is that the book states that if you place a \$#\$#0\$#\$# to the right of trailing zeroes, it would make those zeroes significant e.g. 500. has 3 significant figures while 500 has 1. This is not true and they should be ashamed. Another difference is in the convention of marking significant figures. In this course, Professor Halpin will underline all significant figures to identify them. It just makes it easier to get the correct answer while rounding to the correct number of significant figures. The book does not do