1.2 Significant Figures

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Significant Figures Rules For Zeroes

1. Zeroes at the beginning of a number are NOT significant.

not significant     0.00047

2. Zeroes at the end of a number and to the left of the decimal point are NOT significant.

5400     not significant

3. Zeroes at the end of a number and to the right of the decimal point ARE SIGNIFICANT.

2.5400     significant

4. Zeroes in between significant figures ARE SIGNIFICANT.

200.16      significant

Significant Figures Rules For Mathematical Operations

Multiplication / Division

The answer is rounded to the same number of significant figures as the term with the fewest significant figures.

Addition / Subtraction

The answer is rounded to the same decimal place as the most precise decimal place in the least precise term.

Compute the following and express in the proper number of significant figures.

(2.73) × (6.584) =



1540 + 327.4 + 0.267 =



(4.23 + 7.6) / 0.50 =

Accuracy and Precision

Accuracy - The degree to which a measurement corresponds to the ‘true’ value.


Precision - Of or relating to how close multiple measurements of the same value are to each other (independent of how close they are to the true value). Related to the repeatability of a measurement.

Sample Quiz - Units and Conversions

More Quizzes (over 1200 Questions) are available in Chad's Ultimate General Chemistry Review