Symbols and Units

Scientific notation

It is often more convenient to express the numbers encountered in radiological protection in scientific, rather than decimal notation because of their magnitude. This involves the use of significant figures within desired limits and multiplication by the appropriate power of ten. Examples are shown.


Converting decimal to scientific notation

Decimal Scientific

  1 230 000
     100 000
         3 531
              15.6
                   0.239
                   0.001
                   0.000087

1.23 x 106  
        105
3.53 x 103 a
1.56 x 101  
   2.4 x 10-1 b
         10-3
  8.7 x 10-5  

Notes:
a To three significant figures.
b To two significant figures.

Download Appendix B - Symbols and Units acrobat


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