You are watching: What is 3,920,000,000,000 in scientific notation?
1. Write the number as a decimal
2. Make it a new number between 1 and 10
Move the decimal point to make 392000000000.0 a new number between 1 and 10. Because our number is greater than 10, we move the decimal point to the left. Drop any trailing zeroes. Keep track of how many times we move the decimal point.
392000000000.0 -> 3.92
Our new number is 3.92. We moved the decimal point 11 times.
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3. Define the power of 10
Because our original number was greater than 10, the power of 10 is positive. Remember, we moved the decimal point 11 times, so the exponent is positive 11:
Scientific notation, or standard form, makes things easier when working with very small or very big numbers, both of which come up frequently in the fields of science and engineering. It is used in science, for example, to convey the mass of the heavenly bodies: Jupiter’s mass is kg, which is easier to comprehend than writing the number 1,898 followed by 24 zeroes. Scientific notation also makes solving problems that use such high or low numbers more straightforward.