January 19, 2017

Homework Help: Propagation of error and sig. figs

Posted by Steven on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 12:03am.

I'm really embarrassed to ask this! I knew how to do it before but I forgot after 2 years. I remember learning it for analytical chemistry :(

So a basic problem:
What is x= a+b+c?
given that:
a= 100.7 +/- 0.05
b= 0.61 +/- 0.005
c=226 +/- 0.5

OK. My question is the following:
I understand the answer is
x = 327.31 +/- 0.5025186564...

HOWEVER, I have no idea how the sig figs go.

Do I treat each part "separately?" And by part, I mean the thing before the +/- and the thing after. If I do that, then the part before is 327 and the thing after is 0.5..... is my answer than 327 +/- 0.5??? It looks incorrect :(

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