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Scientific Notation
What Is Scientific Notation?



What Is Scientific Notation?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.74

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    atomic, notation, negative, writing, mass, multiplied, power, ordinary, standard, scientific, meters, measure, itself, number, positive, shorten


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What Is Scientific Notation?
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     We use numbers to measure many things. Ordinary numbers are used to measure the ordinary things we see every day. Ordinary numbers are called standard notation. When we need to measure something that is very, very large or very, very small, then we can use a system called scientific notation.
 
2     Scientific notation uses ordinary numbers, but it expresses them using exponents (or powers) of the number ten. Scientists who use large numbers and small numbers can use scientific notation to shorten the numbers they have to write.
 
3     What kinds of numbers are written using scientific notation? Distances in space are often very large numbers. Atoms are very small. When scientists write the weight of atomic particles, they use scientific notation.

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