During a lab activity Dash and Bob measured a wooden block to be 3.10cm in length, 0.50cm in width and 2cm in height. What is the volume of this block with the correct number of significant figures?

Expert Answers
beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order to find the volume of the wooden block, Dash and Bob would use the formula:

Length x Width x Height = Volume of a Rectangular Prism (in cubic units)

3.10 cm x 0.50 cm x 2.0 cm = 3.1 cubic centimeters

The volume of the wooden block is 3.1 cubic centimeters

Rules for finding the number of significant figure include:

  • The leftmost digit which is not a zero is the most significant number.
  • If the number does not have a decimal point, the rightmost digit that is not a zero is the least most significant number.
  • If the number does have a decimal point, the rightmost digit is the least significant, even if it is a zero.
  • Every digit between the least and most significant digits should be counted as a significant digits.

The number of significant digits in a product (multiplication) or quotient (division) is the same number of significant digits as in the number with the lowest number of significant figures.

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