How to Convert a Number Less Than 1 to Engineering Notation

Converting a Number Less Than 1 to Engineering Notation

A 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 Notation

Converting a number less than 1 to engineering notation is easy.

Question

What is 0.0123 in engineering notation?

Step-by-Step:

1

Move the decimal point 3 places to the right.

0.012.3

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:

0.012.3

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.

2

Ignore the 0s before the first non-0 digit.

12.3

12.3 will appear in the answer.

3

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.

1The decimal point has mo

4

Take the negative of the answer to Step 3. The negative of 3 is −3.

5

Make the answer to Step 4 (−3) the exponent of a power of 10.

10 to the minus 3

10−3 will appear in the answer.

6

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:

12.3 times 10 to the minus 3

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See Also

What is a power? What is a base? What is an exponent? What is a power of 10? What is a multiple?