﻿ Number of Significant Figures

# Number of Significant Figures

In the Program Options the can be defined for the scientific and engineering notation.

Identifying significant figures (sf)

All non-zero digits are considered significant (91 has 2 sf, while 12.345 has 5 sf).

Zeros appearing anywhere between two non-zero digits are significant (101.102 has 6 sf).

Leading zeros are not significant (0.000052 has just 2 sf).

Trailing zeros in a number containing a decimal point are significant (12.2300 has 6 sf, 0.000122300 still has 6 sf).
This convention clarifies the precision of such numbers (12.2300 (6 sf) makes clear it is precise to four decimal places).

The number 0 has one sf.

Implementation in Ple4Win

A couple of rules:

The format used applies for a column as a whole.

The absolute extrema of a column determine the format.

The number will be displayed in a fixed decimal format (no E notation) when.
1. The maximum power present is smaller then the sf.
2. The minimum power present is larger then the negated sf.
3. The maximum minus the minimum power present is smaller then the sf.
4. Maximal 8 decimals can be displayed.

A couple of extra appointments using the E-format:

Scientific notation (SN) always has one digit before the decimal point.

Engineering notation (EN) always has one, two or three digits before the decimal point.

SN always shows the exact number of sf

EN assumes one digit before the decimal point. When so it shows the exact number of sf.
(with 2 digits before the point it shows sf+1 digits, with 3 digits before the point it shows sf+2 digits)

SN only shows a minus sign after the E with numbers less then one (so never a plus sign)

EN always shows either a minus sign or a plus sign after the E

In the tables below raw data values are represented in Scientific format and Engineering format. The first table on the left side, values (with 4 significant figures) are treated as separate values. In the second table (right side with border), the same values are shown but now treated as column values within a Ple4Win data table.

 Raw data Scientific format Engineering format 0.00002 2.000E-5 20.000E-6 0.0002 .0002 .0002 0.002 .0020 .0020 0 0 0 2,000 2000 2000 20,000 2.000E4 20.000E+3 200,000 2.000E5 200.000E+3 2,000,000 2.000E6 2.000E+6
 Raw data Scientific format Engineering format 0.00002 2.000E-5 20.000E -6 0.0002 2.000E-4 200.000E -6 0.002 2.000E-3 2.000E -3 0 0.000E 0 0 2,000 2.000E 3 2.000E+3 20,000 2.000E 4 20.000E+3 200,000 2.000E 5 200.000E+3 2,000,000 2.000E 6 2.000E+6

Last changed: 11/4/2020