Converting To and From Scientific Notation Topic Index | Algebra Index | Regents Exam Prep Center

 Converting To Scientific Notation ...

To Change from Standard Form to Scientific Notation:

 (1) Place the decimal point such that there is one non-zero digit to the left of the decimal point. (2) Count the number of decimal places the decimal has "moved" from the original number.  This will be the exponent of the 10. (3) If the original number was less than 1, the exponent is negative; if the original number was greater than 1, the exponent is positive.

Examples:

Given:  4,750,000
4.75 (moved decimal point 6 decimal places)
 The original number was greater than 1 so the exponent is positive.

Given:  0.000789
7.89 (moved decimal point 4 decimal places)
 The original number was less than 1 so the exponent is negative.

 Converting From Scientific Notation ...

To Change from Scientific Notation to Standard Form:

 (1) Move the decimal point to the right for positive exponents of 10.   The exponent tells you how many places to move. (2) Move the decimal point to the left for negative exponents of 10.  Again, the exponent tells you how many places to move.

Examples:

Given:  1.015 x 10-8
Answer:  0.00000001015 (moved decimal 8 places left)
 Negative exponent moves decimal to the left.

Given:  5.024 x 103
Answer:  5,024  (move decimal 3 places right)
 Positive exponent moves decimal to the right.

 Topic Index | Algebra Index | Regents Exam Prep Center Created by Michele Lloyd