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Figures A through C each show targets with holes where the arrows hit. The archer in figure A was both accurate and precise as all 3 arrows are clustered in the center of the target. In figure B, the archer is precise but not accurate, as all 3 arrows are clustered together but to the upper right of the center of the target. In Figure C, the archer is neither accurate nor precise as the 3 holes are not close together and are located both to the upper right and right of the target.
(a) These arrows are close to both the bull’s eye and one another, so they are both accurate and precise. (b) These arrows are close to one another but not on target, so they are precise but not accurate. (c) These arrows are neither on target nor close to one another, so they are neither accurate nor precise.

Suppose a quality control chemist at a pharmaceutical company is tasked with checking the accuracy and precision of three different machines that are meant to dispense 10 ounces (296 mL) of cough syrup into storage bottles. She proceeds to use each machine to fill five bottles and then carefully determines the actual volume dispensed, obtaining the results tabulated in [link] .

Volume (mL) of Cough Medicine Delivered by 10-oz (296 mL) Dispensers
Dispenser #1 Dispenser #2 Dispenser #3
283.3 298.3 296.1
284.1 294.2 295.9
283.9 296.0 296.1
284.0 297.8 296.0
284.1 293.9 296.1

Considering these results, she will report that dispenser #1 is precise (values all close to one another, within a few tenths of a milliliter) but not accurate (none of the values are close to the target value of 296 mL, each being more than 10 mL too low). Results for dispenser #2 represent improved accuracy (each volume is less than 3 mL away from 296 mL) but worse precision (volumes vary by more than 4 mL). Finally, she can report that dispenser #3 is working well, dispensing cough syrup both accurately (all volumes within 0.1 mL of the target volume) and precisely (volumes differing from each other by no more than 0.2 mL).

Key concepts and summary

Quantities can be exact or measured. Measured quantities have an associated uncertainty that is represented by the number of significant figures in the measurement. The uncertainty of a calculated value depends on the uncertainties in the values used in the calculation and is reflected in how the value is rounded. Measured values can be accurate (close to the true value) and/or precise (showing little variation when measured repeatedly).

Chemistry end of chapter exercises

Express each of the following numbers in scientific notation with correct significant figures:

(a) 711.0

(b) 0.239

(c) 90743

(d) 134.2

(e) 0.05499

(f) 10000.0

(g) 0.000000738592

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Express each of the following numbers in exponential notation with correct significant figures:

(a) 704

(b) 0.03344

(c) 547.9

(d) 22086

(e) 1000.00

(f) 0.0000000651

(g) 0.007157

(a) 7.04 × 10 2 ; (b) 3.344 × 10 −2 ; (c) 5.479 × 10 2 ; (d) 2.2086 × 10 4 ; (e) 1.00000 × 10 3 ; (f) 6.51 × 10 −8 ; (g) 7.157 × 10 −3

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Indicate whether each of the following can be determined exactly or must be measured with some degree of uncertainty:

(a) the number of eggs in a basket

(b) the mass of a dozen eggs

(c) the number of gallons of gasoline necessary to fill an automobile gas tank

(d) the number of cm in 2 m

(e) the mass of a textbook

(f) the time required to drive from San Francisco to Kansas City at an average speed of 53 mi/h

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Indicate whether each of the following can be determined exactly or must be measured with some degree of uncertainty:

(a) the number of seconds in an hour

(b) the number of pages in this book

(c) the number of grams in your weight

(d) the number of grams in 3 kilograms

(e) the volume of water you drink in one day

(f) the distance from San Francisco to Kansas City

(a) exact; (b) exact; (c) uncertain; (d) exact; (e) uncertain; (f) uncertain

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How many significant figures are contained in each of the following measurements?

(a) 38.7 g

(b) 2 × 10 18 m

(c) 3,486,002 kg

(d) 9.74150 × 10 −4 J

(e) 0.0613 cm 3

(f) 17.0 kg

(g) 0.01400 g/mL

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How many significant figures are contained in each of the following measurements?

(a) 53 cm

(b) 2.05 × 10 8 m

(c) 86,002 J

(d) 9.740 × 10 4 m/s

(e) 10.0613 m 3

(f) 0.17 g/mL

(g) 0.88400 s

(a) two; (b) three; (c) five; (d) four; (e) six; (f) two; (g) five

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The following quantities were reported on the labels of commercial products. Determine the number of significant figures in each.

(a) 0.0055 g active ingredients

(b) 12 tablets

(c) 3% hydrogen peroxide

(d) 5.5 ounces

(e) 473 mL

(f) 1.75% bismuth

(g) 0.001% phosphoric acid

(h) 99.80% inert ingredients

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Round off each of the following numbers to two significant figures:

(a) 0.436

(b) 9.000

(c) 27.2

(d) 135

(e) 1.497 × 10 −3

(f) 0.445

(a) 0.44; (b) 9.0; (c) 27; (d) 140; (e) 1.5 × 10 −3 ; (f) 0.44

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Round off each of the following numbers to two significant figures:

(a) 517

(b) 86.3

(c) 6.382 × 10 3

(d) 5.0008

(e) 22.497

(f) 0.885

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Perform the following calculations and report each answer with the correct number of significant figures.

(a) 628 × 342

(b) (5.63 × 10 2 ) × (7.4 × 10 3 )

(c) 28.0 13.483

(d) 8119 × 0.000023

(e) 14.98 + 27,340 + 84.7593

(f) 42.7 + 0.259

(a) 2.15 × 10 5 ; (b) 4.2 × 10 6 ; (c) 2.08; (d) 0.19; (e) 27,440; (f) 43.0

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Perform the following calculations and report each answer with the correct number of significant figures.

(a) 62.8 × 34

(b) 0.147 + 0.0066 + 0.012

(c) 38 × 95 × 1.792

(d) 15 – 0.15 – 0.6155

(e) 8.78 × ( 0.0500 0.478 )

(f) 140 + 7.68 + 0.014

(g) 28.7 – 0.0483

(h) ( 88.5 87.57 ) 45.13

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Consider the results of the archery contest shown in this figure.

(a) Which archer is most precise?

(b) Which archer is most accurate?

(c) Who is both least precise and least accurate?

4 targets are shown each with 4 holes indicating where the arrows hit the targets. Archer W put all 4 arrows closely around the center of the target. Archer X put all 4 arrows in a tight cluster but far to the lower right of the target. Archer Y put all 4 arrows at different corners of the target. All 4 arrows are very far from the center of the target. Archer Z put 2 arrows close to the target and 2 other arrows far outside of the target.

(a) Archer X; (b) Archer W; (c) Archer Y

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Classify the following sets of measurements as accurate, precise, both, or neither.

(a) Checking for consistency in the weight of chocolate chip cookies: 17.27 g, 13.05 g, 19.46 g, 16.92 g

(b) Testing the volume of a batch of 25-mL pipettes: 27.02 mL, 26.99 mL, 26.97 mL, 27.01 mL

(c) Determining the purity of gold: 99.9999%, 99.9998%, 99.9998%, 99.9999%

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Questions & Answers

what is the meaning of coordinate bond
Asmaa Reply
can someone please tell me what does an Entropy means
Afiwape Reply
what is chemistry?
Archie Reply
what is chemistry
Afiwape
chemistry is a brach of science which deal with the study of the nature, composition structure and with the force that hold the structure together and the change matter will undergo undedifferent conditions
Afiwape
And god has created everything from nothing
Abdelkarim
forms of biotechnology
Ocheme Reply
What is a mole?
Henry Reply
pls give me 3 type of transition metal
Destiny Reply
Copper, Scandium, Vanadium, Iron, Chromium, Cobalt
Jumaane-Kalif
ion zinc hydrogen
Abdul
that is not true
Jumaane-Kalif
stop posting foolishness
Jumaane-Kalif
how do I name compounds
Stanley Reply
depends on the compound. as you may know there's transition metal compounds and there's organic compounds and so on and so forth.
Jumaane-Kalif
what is electricity
Lorrita Reply
electricity refers to the flow electrons
John
Hi. please can you tell me more on chemical equation
Gift Reply
When 1 or 2 chemicals react, they rearrange their atomic composition forming new compounds. The total mass before and after is the same/ constant. Chemical equations of same reactants react in same ratios e.g. 1 Na ion reacts with 1 water molecule or a multipier like 1 mole of Na ions react with 1
Abdelkarim
Mole of water molecules. In that example we multipied by 6.02*10^23 or avogadro constant (L). Or 2 Na+ ions with two water molecules. The arrow means '' to form '' Some times conditions or reactants are written above the arrow like H+ or enzyme or temper, sometimes physical states are written
Abdelkarim
Beside the chemical Aqueous (aq) which means solute dissolved on water. Solid (s) etc Some chemical equations are written next to it ΔH= # which means enthalpy change which describes if the reaction is endothermic (+) or exothermic (-).
Abdelkarim
Some are reversible and have half double arrow sign.
Abdelkarim
what is the meaning of atoma
Ibrahim Reply
what is theory
Michael Reply
what is chemical compound
Lorrita
A compound is the result of chemical bonding between 2 or more different elements.
Abdelkarim
Why is an atom electrically neutral?
Clara
the same number of electron , proton present in an atom.thats why it is electrically neutral
debibandita
difference between Amine and amide
Amadu Reply
what is the difference between alkanal and alkanone
Amadu
difference between alkanol and alkanal
Michael
whaatt
Saturday
you are not well at all
Ibrahim
is organic compounds used for drying agent
Olawale Reply
Sulfuric acid is used as a drying agent.
Abdelkarim
what is an atom
John Reply
An atom is the smallest part of an element, for instance gold atoms are the smallest part of gold that can enter a reaction. An atom must consist protons and electrons of equal number. You can think of those subatomic particles as spheres, but not orbiting randomly they move in specific way in
Abdelkarim
That was partially described mathematically. As a muslim, we believe that god created all matter from nothing. He is the Able, and only who can create matter in the begging in the big bang that was described in the Quran in chapter 17 verse 30, 1400 years ago, you can read it from internet.
Abdelkarim
what is electron affinity
John
do you have a private jet
Ibrahim
what is acid
Olubodun Reply
Proton donor (H+). Like in lemons, oranges and some medicines.
Abdelkarim
Practice Key Terms 6

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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