Mathematics » Polynomials II » Integer Exponents and Scientific Notation

Multiplying and Dividing Using Scientific Notation

Multiplying and Dividing Using Scientific Notation

Astronomers use very large numbers to describe distances in the universe and ages of stars and planets. Chemists use very small numbers to describe the size of an atom or the charge on an electron. When scientists perform calculations with very large or very small numbers, they use scientific notation. Scientific notation provides a way for the calculations to be done without writing a lot of zeros. We will see how the Properties of Exponents are used to multiply and divide numbers in scientific notation.

Example

Multiply. Write answers in decimal form: \(\left(4\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{5}\right)\left(2\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{-7}\right).\)

Solution

\(\begin{array}{cccc}& & & \left(4\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{5}\right)\left(2\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{-7}\right)\hfill \\ \text{Use the Commutative Property to rearrange the factors.}\hfill & & & 4·2·{10}^{5}·{10}^{-7}\hfill \\ \text{Multiply.}\hfill & & & 8\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{-2}\hfill \\ \text{Change to decimal form by moving the decimal two places left.}\hfill & & & 0.08\hfill \end{array}\)

Example

Divide. Write answers in decimal form: \(\frac{9\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{3}}{3\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{-2}}.\)

Solution

\(\begin{array}{cccc}& & & \frac{9\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{3}}{3\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{-2}}\hfill \\ \text{Separate the factors, rewriting as the product of two fractions.}\hfill & & & \frac{9}{3}\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\frac{{10}^{3}}{{10}^{-2}}\hfill \\ \text{Divide.}\hfill & & & 3\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}×\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}{10}^{5}\hfill \\ \text{Change to decimal form by moving the decimal five places right.}\hfill & & & 300,000\hfill \end{array}\)

Optional Videos:

Access these videos for additional instruction and practice with integer exponents and scientific notation:

Negative Exponents

Scientific Notation

Scientific Notation 2

[Attributions and Licenses]


This is a lesson from the tutorial, Polynomials II and you are encouraged to log in or register, so that you can track your progress.

Log In

Share Thoughts