Numeric Fomat
Converting Between
Scientific and Decimal Formats

Some numbers are too cumbersome to write down in our usual decimal notation, either because they are too large (for example 293,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) or because they are too small (for example 0.0000000000000000000000044). Writing these numbers in scientific notation allows us to express these numbers in a much more compact form.


In this exercise you are given a number in either the decimal or scientific format, and are required to convert it to the other. Using the options you can elect

  • to always convert from decimal to scientific notation
  • to always convert from scientific to decimal notation
  • to have the computer give you a mix of problems

Enter your answer using the keyboard. Press the 'x' key, and the computer will recognize that you now wish to enter the exponent of a number in scientific format. If you make a mistake, you can correct it using the backspace key.

Arithmetic in Scientific Notation

In the next exercise, you will practice multipying and dividing numbers in scientific format.

Help with scientific notation | Virtual Astronomy Lab