Just as exponents are a shorthand method
representing multiplication, scientific notation is
a shorthand method for representing vary large
(distance from Earth to the Sun) and very small
(width of an atom) numbers.
As with exponents, very specific rules apply to their
proper use. Unlike exponents, the rules are few
1.86 • 106 = 1,860,000
Large Number Move decimal 6 places to the right. Add zeroes if
1.86 •10-5 = .0000186
Small Number Move decimal 5 places to the left. Add zeroes if
1,860,000 = 1.86 • 106
Begin at far right of number. Count place values
moving left until there is a single digit to the left.
Place decimal point here.
1.28 •10-3 = .00128
Begin at decimal and move 3 places to the left.
Add zeroes if needed.
135.6 = 1.356 • 10
Begin one place to the right of first number.
Count places until you reach original decimal