Scientific Notation: In Real Life Situations

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Have you ever wondered what scientific notation is and what fields use scientific notation? I know the answer to that! Well, scientific notation is when you have a really large number or a really small number that can be written in an easier way. Let me give you two examples: 0.0000096 (that’s a really small number) will be 9.6 x 10^-6 in scientific notation. 72,500,000,000 (which is a really large number) will be 7.25 x 10^10 in scientific notation. Some fields that use scientific notation are chemists, astronomers, engineers, and doctors. Pathologists, chemists, and astronomers are the fields that I will be talking about. Let’s get to it!

There are many different kinds of doctors. Each doctor specializes in a different area. For example there are Cardiologists, Family Physicians, Dermatologists, and Pathologist. The doctor/field that I will be working on is the Pathologists/Pathology in general. A Pathologist is a doctor that examine cells, tissues, organs, fluids, and laboratory tests to identify the cause of diseases (mainly cancer). The instrument they usually use is microscopes for their jobs. That means what they are studying are extremely minuscule. Some of the cells are skin cells, red blood cells, and white blood cells. A skin cell is a cell that protects your body but they don’t last for long, and they flake off.

That’s why you have other skin cells to protect you. The average size of a skin cell is 0.00000003 kilometers but converted into scientific notation is 3.0 x 10^-8 km. A red blood cell is a cell that carries oxygen. It also removes carbon dioxide from our bodies then it carries it to our lungs so we can exhale. We can find red blood cells in our bones. The length of a red blood cell is 0.000008 meters and if you change it to scientific notation it is 8.0 x 10^ -6 meters. They use scientific notation because when they go to the lab results they won’t need to write immense or tiny numbers down they just have to write the standard form. It is just way easier!

For astronomers using very huge and very small numbers is very common. Astronomy is a field that has to deal with objects in space like the sun, moon, planets and their moons, stars, galaxies, comets, asteroids, and meteors. These are called celestial objects. Astronomers are the people who study astronomy. There is so much more that they study because so much more is out there that we don’t know yet! For example Earth’s distance from the sun is 150,000,000,000 meters (m). I know not a single one of you wants to write that many zeros. In scientific notation you write it like this 1.5 x 10^11 meters. Another planet is Venus, which is also known as Earth’s Twin. It is about 108,000,000 million kilometers (km) from the sun.

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