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Scientific Notation for Physics Practice Test

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Sep 17, 2011

Review the following concepts if needed:

Physics and Scientific Notation Practice Test

1. Two numbers differ in size by exactly six orders of magnitude. This is a factor of

(a) 6.

(b) 36.

(c) 10 6 .

(d) 6 6 .

2. Suppose that we invent a new unit called the flummox (symbol: Fx ). What might we logically call 10 −9 flummox?

(a) One milliflummox (1 mFx)

(b) One nanoflummox (1 nFx)

(c) One picoflummox (1 pFx)

(d) One kiloflummox (1 kFx)

3. What is the value of 2 × 4 2 − 6?

(a) 26

(b) 58

(c) 20

(d) There is no way to tell; this is an ambiguous expression.

4. What is another way of writing 78,303?

(a) 7.8303 × 10 −4

(b) 7.8303E + 04

(c) 0.78 × 10 5

(d) This number is in its most appropriate form already.

5. Suppose that we measure the speed of an Internet connection 100 times and come up with an average of 480 kilobits per second (kbps). Suppose that the speed of the connection is absolutely constant. We go to a test site and obtain a reading of 440 kbps. What is the error of this measurement in percent? Express your answer to three significant figures.

 

(a) 440/480, or 91.7 percent

(b) (480 − 440)/440, or 9.09 percent

(c) (440 − 480)/480, or −8.33 percent

(d) 440 − 480, or −40.0 percent

6. Suppose that we measure a quantity and get 8.53 × 10 4 units, accurate to three significant figures. Within what range of whole-number units can we say the actual value is?

(a) 85,250 units to 85,349 units

(b) 85,290 units to 86,310 units

(c) 85,399 units to 86,301 units

(d) We can’t say.

7. What is the difference 8.899 × 10 5 minus 2.02 × 10 −12 taking significant figures into account?

(a) 2.02 × 10 −12

(b) 8.9 × 10 5

(c) 6.88 × 10 5

(d) 8.899 × 10 5

8. What is the order in which operations should be performed in an expression containing no parentheses?

(a) Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponentiation

(b) Exponentiation, multiplication and division, addition and subtraction

(c) From left to right

(d) It is impossible to know

9. Suppose that the population of a certain country is found to be 78,790,003 people. What is this expressed to three significant figures?

(a) 7.88 × 10 7

(b) 7.879 × 10 7

(c) 78,800,000

(d) 78E + 06

10. What is the product of 8.72 × 10 5 and 6.554 × 10 −5 taking significant figures into account?

(a) 57.15088

(b) 57.151

(c) 57.15

(d) 57.2

 

Answers:

1. c

2. b

3. a

4. b

5. c

6. a

7. d

8. b

9. a

10. d

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