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Units, Scientific Notation, and Significant Figures

Terms and Definitions

Introduction and Summary

Units

Accuracy  -  The extent to which an experimental result agrees with a known or correct value.
British System  -  A system of units, rather arbitrarily based. It is the system of units primarily used by the United States. It is not the system of units used in science (see metric system). Conversion tables reside in the "Reference" pull-down menu at the top of most SparkNotes pages.
Metric system  -  A standardized system of units based on 10. Generally, the measurement system used in science, and in everyday life through most of the world (but not in the United States, which uses the British system). Conversion tables reside in the "Reference" pull-down menu at the top of most SparkNotes pages.
Precision  -  The extent to which an experiment is reproducible.
Scientific Notation  -  A system of representing large numbers, following the model ax10b , where "a" is the value and "b" is number of places the decimal place had to move in order to express a in manageable terms. 1123,000,000 is represented in scientific notation as 1.123X109 .
Significant Figures  -  Digits in a recorded value that are reliable and believable.
Units  -  A uniform standard of measurement.

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