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Scientific Notation Display Format - HP 12C Platinum User Manual

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Section 5: Additional Operating Features
The standard display format, plus the specified number of decimal places, remain
in effect until you change them; they are not reset each time the calculator is turned
on. However, if Continuous Memory is reset, when the calculator is next turned on
numbers will be displayed in the standard display format with two decimal places
If a calculated answer is either too small or too large to be displayed in the
standard display format, the display format automatically switches to scientific
notation (described below). The display returns to the standard display format for
all numbers that can be displayed in that format.

Scientific Notation Display Format

In scientific notation, a number is displayed with its mantissa at the left and a
two-digit exponent at the right. The mantissa is simply the first seven digits in the
number, and has a single, nonzero digit to the left of the decimal point. The
exponent is simply how many decimal places you would move the decimal point in
the mantissa before writing down the number in standard format. If the exponent is
negative (that is, there is a minus sign between it and the mantissa), the decimal
point should be moved to the left; this occurs for any number less than 1. If the
exponent is positive (that is, there is a blank space between it and the mantissa),
the decimal point should be moved to the right; this occurs for any number greater
than or equal to 1.
To set the display format to scientific notation, press f.. For example (assuming
the display still shows 14.87456320 from the preceding example):
Although nine decimal places were
specified after f, only eight are
displayed since the display can
show a total of only 10 digits.


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