Standard Form


Standard form or scientific notation is a method that scientists use to display very large or very small numbers. It is written in the format of where a is a number (whole or decimal) between 1 and 9.999... and b a power. The general purpose of standard form is to put extremely large or small numbers into an international simple format so that people can work with them a lot better (without having to count the number of zeroes or the number digits behind the decimal point). It is also a lot neater than writing a very long number. Here is a good example of standard form. The distance from earth to sun is very large: 149 600 000 000 meters. This number is very long and it would be very hard to work with it properly. This is why we transform it into standard form. Numbers in standard form can be easier to calculate with and they can be a lot neater when writing them down, for example in a scientific report. Common uses of Standard Form Here is a list of measurements and numbers which are often represented in standard form. Distances to galaxies, solar systems and planets. Diameters and circumferences of planets. Mass of planets or stars Size of an atom Mass of a proton Mass of an electron There are a lot more situations were standard form would be used but these are just some examples. You are likely to meet standard form in some other subjects as well such as Chemistry and Physics. Working with Standard Form Now that you know what standard form is and what it is used for, you should try do do some conversion from normal numbers to standard form and vice versa or if you think you are quite familiar with standard form already you can move on to the standard form calculations straight away. Please share this page if you like it or found it helpful!
Careful: Standard form can also refer to the common form of a linear equation. To be 100% sure that people `mean the same standard form, you can use the word: Scientific Notation.
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Chapter 6.0:  Learning Outcomes Students will know what standard form is! Students will know examples of cases in which standard form is used! Students will establish a link between the standard form in maths and the sciences!
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