Tutorial 1.5: Part 2

Determining the correct number of significant figures.

How many significant figures result from this measurement?

The division between the marks is 0.1 cm, so we can record an uncertain but reasonable guess to the nearest 0.01 cm. For example, we could record 2.98 cm, which has 3 significant figures - the 2 and 9 are certain, and the last digit is uncertain.

How many significant figures result from this measurement?

The division between the marks is 10 cm, so we can record an uncertain but reasonable guess to the nearest 1 cm. For example, we could record 15 cm, which has 2 significant figures - the 1 is certain, and the last digit is uncertain.

How many significant figures result from this measurement?

The division between the marks is 1 cm, so we can record an uncertain but reasonable guess to the nearest 0.1 cm. For example, we could record 2.1 cm, which has 2 significant figures - the 2 is certain, and the last digit is uncertain.

How many significant figures result from this measurement?

The division between the marks is 0.01 cm, so we can record an uncertain but reasonable guess to the nearest 0.001 cm. For example, we could record 0.272 cm, which has 3 significant figures - the 2 and 7 are certain, and the last digit, the 2, is uncertain.