The LessonA number can be written in engineering notation. Imagine we wanted to write 0.0123 in engineering notation.
How to Convert a Number Less Than 1 to Engineering NotationConverting a number less than 1 to engineering notation is easy.
QuestionWhat is 0.0123 in engineering notation?
Move the decimal point 3 places to the right. Is there at least 1 but no more than 3 digits to the left of the decimal point (that are not 0s) now that it has been moved? Yes. There are 2 digits to the left of the new decimal point: Note: If there are more than 3 digits to the left of the new decimal point, move the decimal point another 3 places to the right, and another, until there are between 1 and 3 digits to the left of the decimal point.
Ignore the 0s before the first non-0 digit. 12.3 will appear in the answer.
Count how many places the decimal point has been moved right. In our example, the decimal point has been moved 3 places to the right.
Take the negative of the answer to Step 3. The negative of 3 is −3.
Make the answer to Step 4 (−3) the exponent of a power of 10. 10−3 will appear in the answer.
The number in engineering notation will consist of the number between 1 and 1,000 found in Step 2 (12.3) multiplying the power of 10 found in Step 5 (10−3).
Answer:We have converted the number less than 1 to engineering notation:
Lesson SlidesThe slider below gives a real example of converting a number less than 1 to engineering notation. Open the slider in a new tab
Powers of 10A power of 10 is 10 raised to a exponent. For example, 103 is a power of 10. The small 3 written beside the 10 means it is raised to an exponent of 3. This means 10 is multiplied by itself 3 times.
103 = 10 × 10 × 10The answer will have 3 0s after the 1:
103 = 1,000
What Is a Multiple of 3?The exponent of the power of 10 in engineering notation must be a multiple of 3. A multiple of 3 is a number that results from multiplying 3 by a whole number. Multiples of 3 are:
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21...Multiples of 3 can be negative as well:
−3, −6, −9, −12, −15, −18, −21...