Each of the digits of a number that are used to express it to the required degree of accuracy, starting from the first non-zero digit.
- ‘As a result of these simplifications, we cannot expect our dipole strengths to be accurate to better than perhaps two significant figures (although the calculations have been carried out with more).’
- ‘Although the technique may sound simple in its principles, getting results accurate to 11 significant figures is not a project for a high school science fair.’
- ‘They were so fussy about grading that you got knocked down a point for using a different number of significant figures in your uncertainties and your measurements.’
- ‘Thus, as you have pointed out several times - one good indication of false or fudged data is that the data is too good - too many straight lines, and too many significant figures.’
- ‘However, his lesson could hardly have been more effective; I don't think that I have ever since quoted the result of a calculation to other than the correct number of significant figures.’
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.