# Converting to Scientific Notation

#### Spool

Hi all.

Is it necessary to keep the trailing zeros when converting to scientific notation?

(Note: My use of ^ is to notate an exponent.)

eg. 3100.0 x 10^2

My answer was 3.1 x 10^5 however the correct answer was 3.1000 x 10^5
(Is it pertinent to keep the trailing zeros?)

Another example would be:
1000 x 10^-3

(Is there a reason for this?)

#### chemtopper

It depends on number of significant figures needed in scientific notation.
We retain the number of significant figures when we write answer in scientific notation.

#### ChemIsMyJam

Significant Figures in Scientific Notation

Hi,

I agree with chemtopper that you must maintain the correct number of significant figures when writing numbers in scientific notation.

Here is a video about significant figures that goes over why they are important, how to determine the number of sig figs, and how to do math with sig figs.

https://youtu.be/IbMe61C91M4

Hope it helps!

Rebecca
www.chemistryismyjam.com