# How to Convert a Number to Scientific Notation

## Converting a Number to Scientific Notation

A number can be written in scientific notation.

Imagine we wanted to write 123,000 in scientific notation.

## How to Convert a Number to Scientific Notation

Converting a number to scientific notation is easy.

### Question

What is 123,000 in scientific notation?

# 1

Place a decimal point to the right of the first digit of the number. In our example, the first digit of 123,000 is 1: # 2

Ignore the 0s after the last non-0 digit. 1.23 will appear in the answer.

# 3

Count how many digits there are after the first digit. (Don't ignore the 0s after the last non-0 digit this time). There are 5 digits after the first digit.

# 4

Make the answer to Step 3 (5) the exponent of a power of 10. 105 will appear in the answer.

# 5

The number in scientific notation will consist of the number between 1 and 10 found in Step 2 (1.23) multiplying the power of 10 found in Step 4 (105).

### Answer:

We have converted the number to scientific notation: ## Slider

The slider below gives a real example of converting a number to scientific notation.

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## See Also

What is a power? What is a base? What is an exponent?