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Intro To Significant Digits And How Students Can Calculate Them Easily?

Aug 28, 2021


Measurements play an important role in all kinds of calculations. Whether we are talking about physics, mathematics, or engineering problems, accurate and precise measurements are of great importance for building an accurate and well-calculated system.

Students have to deal with digits and perform measurements all the time. Wherever there is a mathematical problem, there are digits and measurements associated with it that students need to process to reach different conclusions.

When working with digits, we sometimes need to round them or identify the significant numbers in them to help aid the calculations that we want to perform.

Figuring out the significant digits enables students to narrow down a value to its most meaningful digits that they can use to get accurate results, without considering the numbers that don’t matter.

In this article, we are going to do a complete breakdown of Significant Digits and talk about some of the ways students can calculate them easily.

Let’s get started...!

What are Significant Digits in a Number?

Significant Digits are numbers in a value that are “significant, important, or meaningful” in a value. These numbers are the narrowed version of a given value that can accurately represent the message represented by that value.

Students often have to deal with large values when doing mathematical calculations. They can narrow those values down to their most important figures and use them to accurately do the calculations that they want to do.

This is where it becomes essential to learn to calculate significant figures. They provide massive value to the students and make it easier for them to do different mathematical or engineering calculations.

You can either use the manual method for Significant Digits Calculation or you can use the Sig Fig calculator to speed up the calculation process.

We are going to talk about both methods later on in this article. 

Applications of Significant Figures for Students

Students are often skeptical about the need for calculating Significant Figures. This is because there are a lot of rules that they need to keep in mind for calculating Significant Figures.

But still, why is it important to calculate Significant Digits? What are the applications of finding Significant Figures?

Here are the most basic applications of finding Significant Digits that explain why they are important.

  • Precision

Precision is defined as the closeness between 2 values under the same conditions. 2 values are precise when they bring the same results when doing the same calculation. Students can use the significant figures of the value to do precise calculations, without having to worry about dealing with large values consisting of various insignificant figures that don’t have any kind of influence on the result.

  • Accuracy

Accuracy is the level of measurement that generates true as well as consistent results for you, without any kind of systematic or random errors. Calculating significant figures helps students find accurate as well as consistent results. 

How to Calculate Significant Figures – The Hard Way

Significant Digits Calculation is a simple yet lengthy process. If you are going with the manual approach for calculating significant figures, the process is quite time-consuming.

But still, you need to know it so that you can do it quickly and easily.

Let’s go over the basic rules for significant figure calculation that you need to know.

  1. All Non-Zero numbers in a value are significant.
  2. All zeros that come between two non-zero numbers are always significant.
  3. Zeros that are on the right side of the decimal point or at the left side of a non-zero number are always insignificant.
  4. The zeros on the right-hand side of the decimal point are significant if they are not followed by a non-zero digit.
  5. If there are zeroes that appear on the right side of the non-zero digits after the decimal point, then those zeros would be significant.
  6. If the zeros are on the right side of a number but the number is representing a measurement, then the zeros would be significant.

These are the basic and standard rules for finding significant figures. Students need to memorize these rules for quickly and easily finding Significant Digits in a value.

How to Calculate Significant Figures – The Easy Way

Once you have learned the manual method for calculating significant figures using the rules mentioned above, you can try them on different values.

And when you have truly mastered the basic principles, you can use the Sig Fig calculator to find the Significant Digits in an easy way.

If you don’t want to waste your time with manual calculation, there is a simple way to do that. You can use our intuitive calculator to find significant figures in value.
All you need to do is to enter the value in this calculator and it will give you the total number of Significant figures in the entered value. And that is not it, the calculator also tells you about many other things for the value that can prove to be beneficial for you.

Best Features

  • Find significant figures easily for free
  • Figure out the number of decimals in the input number
  • Find the E-notation of the input number
  • Find the Scientific Notation of the input number

Our Sig Fig calculator is a free tool for students and academic professionals that can help them save time through automatic significant figure calculation. And since the calculator is free, you don’t need to pay anything for using it to find Significant Digits.

Conclusion

This is it! This is how you can find significant digits in a value. The process for determining significant figures is quite easy, but the manual approach can take a lot of time. So, if you don’t have enough time on your hands, you can use our significant figures calculator utility to find significant figures in a value.

And as always, if you have any questions or confusion about significant figures and the process for calculating them, feel free to reach out to us. Till then, stay tuned for more helpful Significant Figures guides and solutions.