What is Scientific Notation?

Scientific notation is a way of shortening numbers that are extremely large or small. To write a number in scientific notation, place a decimal point after the first digit and discard all of the zeros for the coefficient. Then count the number of places from the decimal point to find the base. For example, 150,000,000,000 equals 1.5 x 10^11 and conversely .000000000015 equals 1.5 x 10^-11.
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