Scientific notation

Updated: 06/21/2017 by Computer Hope

scientific notationA method of writing a very large or small numbers, scientific notation is an integer between 1 and 10 multiplied by the power of 10. For example, 987,000,000 could be written in scientific notation as 9.87 * 108, 9.87 * 10^8, or 9.87e+8.

To convert a real number into a scientific notation, follow the steps below.

  1. Place a decimal point after the first digit. If we were using the same number we used above, the decimal point would be placed after the nine.
  2. Complete the remainder of the number excluding the trailing zeros. In our example, 9.87 is known as the coefficient.
  3. To find the exponent, count all the digits up to the decimal point. Because our number was nine digits long, this would mean we have an exponent of eight.

To convert a scientific notation into a real number, follow the steps below.

  1. Assuming our scientific notation was 8.01+E5.
  2. Calculate 8.01 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 or move the decimal five places to the right.
  3. The answer for this scientific notation should be 801000


  1. Open the calculator on your computer.
  2. Enter 8.01
  3. Press the 'e' key for exponent.
  4. Enter 5 and press enter.

Number, Real number