Posted by Emily on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 8:49pm.
This is meant to be simple, but for some reason I'm not getting the right answer.
Question is: Perhaps the most famous horse race ever in the United States was the 1938 race between two thoroughbreds, War Admiral and Seabiscuit, both of whom stood about 15 hands high. Seabiscuit won the race. The length unit 'hand', used to measure horsesm is exactly 4 inches. How tall are both horses in centimeters.
So I thought:
Convert HANDS > FEET > CM
So 1 hand = 4 in
initial units x desired units/initial units = desired units.
15 hands x 4 in / 1 hand = 60 inches
Seabiscuit is 60 inches tall
1 inch = 2.54 cm
60 inches x 2.54 / 1 in = 152.4 cm
Seabiscuit is 152.4 cm tall.
The answer to this problem in the back of the book is 1.5 x 10^2 cm. I've tried it over and over and it doesn't make sense to me.

Chemistry  Emily, Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 8:50pm
I meant
HANDS > INCHES > CM 
Chemistry  Emily, Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 8:53pm
AHH they are rounding! I feel silly.

Chemistry  DrBob222, Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 8:58pm
15 hands x (4"/hand) x (2.5 cm/1") =152.4 cm.
The number of significant figures may be the problem.
15 hands is two digits; therefore, 152.4 cm would round to 1.5E2 cm.