Number and Arithmetic (Mathematics Curriculum)
Notation
What Is Notation?
Some numbers can be very large...
Some numbers can be very small...
Writing out so many numerals can be very time consuming, especially if they are part of a long calculation.
Scientific and Engineering notation is a way of writing very large or very small numbers in a standard (shorter!) way.
12,300,000,000 = 1.23 × 10^{10}  Scientific notation 
0.0000000123 = 12.3 × 10^{−9}  Engineering notation 
What Is Scientific Notation?
Scientific notation writes a number as a number between 1 and 10 multiplied by a power of 10.
The number below is written in scientific notation. It is said as "1.2 times 10 to the 3".
Dictionary Definition
The Oxford English Dictionary defines scientific notation as "a system of representing some given number as a product of a number with an absolute value between 1 and 10 and a power of 10 (as 2 × 10^{2} for 200)."
What Is Engineering Notation?
Engineering notation writes a number as a number between 1 and 1,000 multiplied by a power of 10 that has an exponent that is a multiple of 3.
The number below is written in engineering notation. It is said as "123.4 times 10 to the 3".

123.4 is between 1 and 1,000.

10^{3} is a power of 10. The exponent is 3, which is a multiple of 3. 10^{6}, 10^{9} and 10^{12} also have exponents that are multiples of 3.
Scientific Notation
Scientific notation is a way of writing very large or very small numbers as a number between 1 and 10 multiplying a power of 10.
In this minicurriculum, you will learn about scientific notation.
Engineering Notation
Engineering notation is a way of writing very large or very small numbers.
It is written as a number between 1 and 1,000 that multiplies a power of 10 that has an exponent that is a multiple of 3 (3, 6, 9 etc).
In this minicurriculum, you will learn about engineering notation.