How to Use Significant Figures in Multiplication and Division

By Chris Sherwood

Determine if your numbers are measurements. If they are they are probably going to be inexact. This is when you would need to round using significant figures.

Determine how many significant figures are in your number with the least amount of significant figures. For example if you were multiplying 40.6 by 19.14 your number with the least amount of significant figures would be 40.6 with 3 significant figures verses the 4 in 19.14.

Round your solution to the amount of significant figures you discovered in step 2. If we were to multiply 40.6 by 19.14 you would get a product of 777.084. Since the least amount of significant figures was 3, we would round the product to three significant figures. This makes your final answer 777

About the Author

Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who after years in the health administration field and writing health and wellness articles turned towards organic sustainable gardening and food education. He now owns and operates an organic-method small farm focusing his research and writing on both organic gardening methods and hydroponics.