Intermediate Algebra Problems With Answers -
Sample 5 - Scientific Notation

A set of intermediate algebra problems, related to scientific notation, with answers, are presented. The solutions are at the bottom of the page.

Review: A number x is written in scientific notation when it is written in the form:

x = a 10 N


with 1 ≤ |a| < 10 and N is an integer.

  1. Convert from decimal notation to scientific notation.

    a) 234

    b) 0.000052

    c) -220,000

    d) -0.00000000000000182

  2. Convert from scientific to decimal notation.

    a) 1.01 10 2

    b) 8.2 10 -6

    c) 3.456 10 10

    d) -1.2 10 -8

  3. Perform the multiplication and write the result in scientific notation.

    a) (5 10 2)(7 10 5)

    b) (1.2 10 -6)(3.5 10 14)

    c) (-4.5 10 -7)(8.62 10 10)

    d) (-7.2 10 -6)(0.00039)

  4. Perform the division and write the result in scientific notation.

    a) (4 10 13) / (5 10 -4)

    b) 0.000012 / (2.4 10 -8)

    c) (-1.2 10 -6) / (1.5 10 -10)

    d) 0.00000065 / 0.000013

  5. Evaluate and express in scientific notation.

    a) (1.3 10 -6) 2

    b) (1.5 10 -8) 2(2.1 10 5)

    c) [ (1.144 10 2)(6 10 7) ] / (2.2 10 4)

    d) [ (0.00001)(2,500) ] / [ (0.0003)(150,000) ]

  6. Evaluate in scientific notation.

    a) The diameter of an atom: 0.0000000000001 meter

    b) diameter of earth = 12,756,000 meters

    c) 1 billion: 1000,0000,000

    d) 1 micron: 0.000001 meter

    e) 1 trillion: 1000,000,000,000

    f) Diameter of earth / diameter of atom

    g) Speed of light: 300,000,000 m/sec

    h) Distance travelled by light in one year.

Answers to the Above Questions


  1. a) 234 = 2.34 10 2

    b) 0.000052 = 5.2 10 -5

    c) -220,000 = -2.2 10 5

    d) -0.00000000000000182 = -1.82 10 -15


  2. a) 1.01 10 2 = 101

    b) 8.2 10 -6 = 0.0000082

    c) 3.456 10 10 = 34560000000

    d) -1.2 10 -8 = -0.000000012



  3. a) (5 10 2)(7 10 5)

    = (5 7)(10 2 10 5)

    = 35 10 7 = 3.5 10 8


    b) (1.2 10 -6)(3.5 10 14)

    = (1.23.5)(10 -6 10 14)

    = 4.2 10 8


    c) (- 4.5 10 -7)(8.62 10 10)

    = (- 4.5 8.62)(10 -7 10 10)

    = - 38.79 10 3 = - 3.879 10 4


    d) (- 7.2 10 -6)(0.00039)

    = (- 7.2 10 -6)(3.9 10 -4)

    = (- 7.2 3.9)(10 -6 10 -4)

    = - 28.08 10 -10 = - 2.808 10 -9


  4. a) (4 10 13) / (5 10 -4) = (4/5)(10 13 / 10 -4) = 0.8 10 17 = 8.0 10 16


    b) 0.000012 / (2.4 10 -8) = (0.000012 / 2.4)(1 / 10 -8) = (0.000005)(1 / 10 -8)

    = (5.0 10 -6)(10 8) = 5.0 10 2


    c) (-1.2 10 -6) / (1.5 10 -10) = (-1.2 / 1.5)(10 -6 / 10 -10)

    = -0.8 10 4 = -8.0 10 3


    d) 0.00000065 / 0.000013 = 0.05 = 5.0 10 -2


  5. a) (1.3 10 -6) 2 = (1.3) 2 (10 -6) 2 = 1.69 10 -12


    b) (1.5 10 -8) 2(2.1 10 5) = 1.5 2 (10 -8) 2 (2.1 10 5)

    = (2.25 10 -16)(2.1 10 5) = 4.725 10 -11


    c) [ (1.144 10 2)(6 10 7) ] / (2.2 10 4) = (6.864 10 9) / (2.2 10 4)

    = (6.864 / 2.2) (10 9 / 10 4) = 3.12 10 5


    d) [ (0.00001)(2,500) ] / [ (0.0003)(150,000) ] = 0.025 / 45 = 0.000555 = 5.6 10 -4



  6. a) The diameter of an atom: 0.0000000001 meter = 1.0 10 -9 meter

    b) diameter of earth = 12,756,000 meters = 1.2756 10 7 meters

    c) 1 billion: 1000,0000,000 = 1.0 10 9

    d) 1 micron: 0.000001 meter = 1.0 10 -6

    e) 1 trillion: 1000,000,000,000 = 1.0 10 12

    f) Diameter of earth / diameter of atom = 1.2756 10 7 / 1.0 10 -9 = 1.2756 10 16

    g) Speed of light: 300,000,000 meters per second = 3.0 10 8 m/s

    h) Distance travelled by light in one year:

    There are (365 * 24 * 60 * 60) = 3.1536 10 7 seconds in one year.

    Distance travelled by light in one year = time * speed of light

    = (3.1536 10 7)(3.0 10 8) = 9.4608 10 15 meters = 9.4608 10 12 kilometers

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