Scientific Notation

With this program you can practice converting between
scientific notation and normal numbers.


  • Convert from Scientific Notation to Real Number:
    5.14 x 105 = 514000.0
    • Scientific notation consists of a coefficient (here 5.14) multiplied by 10 raised to an exponent (here 5). To convert to a real number, start with the base and multiply by 5 tens like this: 5.14 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 = 514000.0. Multiplying by tens is easy: one simply moves the decimal point in the base (5.14) 5 places to the right, adding extra zeroes as needed.

  • Convert from Real Number to Scientific Notation:
    0.000345 = 3.45 x 10-4
    • Here we wish to write the number 0.000345 as a coefficient times 10 raised to an exponent. To convert to scientific notation, start by moving the decimal place in the number until you have a number between 1 and 10; here it is 3.45. The number of places to the left that you had to move the decimal point is the exponent. Here, we had to move the decimal 4 places to the right, so the exponent is -4.

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    Scientific Notation written by Dr. Douglas P. Hamilton and Mike Asbury on Feb 01, 1997.