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##### Asked by: Jayne Bahvaloff

video gaming music and party video games# How is scientific notation used in engineering?

**engineering**is to

**use**a slightly modified

**scientific notation**.

**Engineers**like exponents in multiples of three. This means the digits to the left of the decimal point fall in the range of one to 999. Our minds do a pretty good job relating to numbers in this range.

Just so, how are exponents used in engineering?

**Exponents** in: Aeronautical **engineering** **Engineers** need to **use exponents** because they are constantly facing big and small numbers. **Engineers use exponents** to calculate tensile strength, which determines the amount of stress that a structure can withstand.

**Engineering notation**or

**engineering**form is a version of scientific

**notation**in which the exponent of ten must be divisible by three (i.e., they are powers of a thousand, but written as, for example, 10

^{6}instead of 1000

^{2}).

People also ask, why do we use engineering notation instead of scientific notation?

This shorthand representation keeps numbers from getting too long, making it easier to read numbers that are very big or very small as many quantitites tend to be in **engineering** settings. This **is** similar in spirit to **scientific notation**, which **uses** strictly integer powers of 10.

If you want the measurement to be **100** with three **significant figures** (implying an uncertainty of ), you could write it as **100**. (with a trailing decimal point) or, less subtly, as , or (even better) with an explicit uncertainty such as or “**100** to three **significant figures**”.