# Lesson WHAT IS scientific notation

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Science often deals with numbers that are very large or very small.

For example, the Earth contains approximately 900000000000000000000000 atoms.

Such large numbers, written as I just did, are difficult to read and compare by humans. (They do not present any difficulties for a computer, however).

To make them more readable, people invented scientific notation. It is a way of writing down numbers.

#### Scientific notation form

Scientific notation is written as a decimal number between 1 and 10, followd by a power of 10.
Example:

1.

2. What is greater, 4800234000000 or 72229000000000? It is hard to say until you counted the digits. If you look at scientific notation of these numbers, you will see and . The second number is more that 10 TIMES the first one. So, it makes sense to use these numbers in books and computer printouts.
3. is 0.00000001 less than 1/1000000? It is easier to compare vs. .

#### Multiplication and division of numbers in scientific notation

Multiplying and dividing numbers in scientific notation is an exercise from thye chapter on "powers of 10".
Multiplying:Multiply the small parts separately and the exponents separately, and write them together.
For example, .
Dividing:Multiply the small parts separately and the exponents separately, and write them together.
For example, .

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