Anytime we're asked to count how many significant figures are in a given number, we follow the same set of rules:
(a) The notation 78.9 ± 0.2 means that the true value of the number is somewhere between 78.9-2 and 78.9+2. Rounding to two digits, both 78.7 and 79.1 become 79. That means the 1's place is the last certain digit, so this number has two significant figures.
How many significant figures are in the following numbers? (a) 78.9 ± 0.2 (b) 3.788 × 109 (c) 2.06 × 1026 (d) 0.0053
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