## Answers

in the product A• B • C, A has 5 significant figures. B has 2 significant figures, and C has 3 significant figure... Then product would have 2 significant figures

In mathematical operations involving significant figures, the answer is reported in such a way that it reflects the reliability of the least precise operation. Let's state that another way: a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. An answer is no more precise that the least precise number used to get the answer.

Let's do it one more time: imagine a team race where you and your team must finish together. Who dictates the speed of the team? Of course, the slowest member of the team. Your answer cannot be MORE precise than the least precise measurement.

The following rule applies for multiplication and division:

The LEAST number of significant figures in any number of the problem determines the number of significant figures in the answer.

This means you MUST know how to recognize significant figures in order to use this rule.

Example #1: 2.5 x 3.42.

The answer to this problem would be 8.6 (which was rounded from the calculator reading of 8.55). Why?

2.5 has two significant figures while 3.42 has three. Two significant figures is less precise than three, so the answer has two significant figures.

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