Scientific notation is a method of writing numbers as the product of two factors where the first factor is a number greater than or equal to 1 but less than 10 and the second factor is a power of 10.

Video Examples: Scientific Notation

Example of Scientific Notation

The scientific notation of the number 5,300,000 is 5.3 × 10^{6}.
The scientific notation of the number 0.0000000089 is 8.9 × 10^{-9}.

Solved Example on Scientific Notation

Ques: An hour is equal to 3,600 seconds. Write this number in scientific notation.

Choices:

A. 3.6 × 10^{1}
B. 3.6 × 10^{3}
C. 3.6 × 10^{2}
D. 3.6 × 10^{-1}
Correct Answer: B

Solution:

Step 1: Scientific notation is a method of writing numbers as the product of two factors where the
first factor is a number greater than or equal to 1 but less than 10 and the second factor is a power of 10.
Step 2: The first factor in the scientific notation of 3,600 is 3.6. [Move the decimal point to get a factor greater than or equal to 1 and less than 10.]
Step 3: The second factor is 10^{3}. [The decimal point is moved 3 places to the left. Use this number as the power of 10.]
Step 4: The representation of one hour in scientific notation is 3.6 × 10^{3} seconds.