**Notes on
Scientific Notation**

Frequently very large or very small numbers are written in scientific notation.

A number is written in **scientific notation** when it is
expressed as a **product** of a **decimal and a power of ten**. The **decimal** must be a number **greater
or equal to 1 but less than 10**.

Scientific
Notation

Power
of ten

Example: 12,340,000 = 1.234 · 10

^{7}

Decimal

Example:
Venus is 1.08 · 10^{8} kilometers from the sun. This means that Venus is 108,000,000
kilometers from the sun.

Very often we use scientific notation in science. The above example indicates how we use it for very large numbers, however we also use it for very small numbers.

Example:
Bacteria are so small they measure 3.9 · 10^{-5}
inches. This means that bacteria
measures .000039 inches.