The importance of determining significant figures

We constantly make measurements in our daily lives. Cooking, cleaning, and other routine activities require us
to use various devices with various levels of precision. Sometimes it makes little difference if we measure
carefully. Other times it could result in a soufflé that doesn’t rise or an incorrect amount of medicine dispensed.
Some examples of measuring devices include:
Bathroom scale
Measuring cup or spoon
Air pressure gauge

How do significant figures relate to the precision of a measurement? Explain the importance of determining
significant figures when taking a measurement and performing calculations with measurements.
Choose two digital and two analog (nondigital) measuring devices that you use at home or at work. Discuss the
precision of each device, and relate this to the measurement that can be reported for the device.
Compare and contrast the process of determining the precision of the two types of devices.
Choose one of your measuring devices. Do you know how accurate it really is? How could you check the
accuracy of it?

Sample Solution