# ^Significant figures

**^Significant figures**

All accurately known digits plus the first uncertain digit of a measurement is called significant digits or significant figures. e.g. if in a measurement, mass of a body lies between 5.6 kg & 5.7 kg & we estimate it as 5.62 kg then the first two digits 5 & 6 are certain while the third digit 2 is approximately known we can say there are 3 significant figures.

Following are the rules for counting significant figures

Rule 1: All non zero digits are significant.

Rule 2: All zeros occuring between two non zero digits are significant.

Rule 3: The digit zero (underlined) conventionally put on the left of a decimal for a number less than one is never significant. All zeros to the right the decimal point are not significant.

Rule 4: The terminal or trailing zero(s) in a number without a decimal point are not significant.

Rule 5: The trailing zero(s) in a number with a decimal point are significant.

Rule 6: The powers of ten are not significant.

Rule 7: No. of significant figures remains unchanged on changing the units of measurement, zeroes appearing in the base number in the scientific notation are significant.

Example |
NSD |
Using rule |

4567 | Four | 1 |

450067 | Six | 2 |

0.004567 |
Four | 3 |

456700 | Four | 4 |

0.00456700 |
Six | 5 |

4.5 x 10 ^{– 6} |
Two | 6 |

5.300 x 10 ^{6} mm |
Four | 7 |