How to Write 1 Million in Scientific Notation

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  • 0:03 Steps to Solve
  • 2:29 Real World Application
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Laura Pennington

Laura received her Master's degree in Pure Mathematics from Michigan State University. She has 15 years of experience teaching collegiate mathematics at various institutions.

Scientific notation is a convenient way of expressing large or small numbers. This lesson will explain the steps involved in writing 1 million using scientific notation. We will then take a look at a real-world situation in which scientific notation is used to write 1 million.

Steps to Solve

We want to write 1 million using scientific notation. Writing 1 million using scientific notation involves the same steps as writing any number using scientific notation. It's simply a matter of counting decimal places, observing which way we're moving the decimal, and then placing numbers in the right place. That doesn't sound so bad, huh? Well, it's not, so let's get started!

First of all, a number written in scientific notation is a number multiplied by a power of 10.


1milscinot1


In general, the steps we use in writing a number x using scientific notation are as follows:

  1. Move the decimal point in x to create a number that is between 1 and 10. To do this, we move the decimal so that there is only one digit to the left of the decimal point. That is, we move the decimal point in between the first and second digit of the number. The new number will be the number we multiply by a power of 10.

  2. Count the number of places you moved the decimal point in step one. This will be the number we raise 10 to. If we moved the decimal point to the left in step one, then the number we raise 10 to will be positive, and if we moved the decimal point to the right in step one, then the number we raise 10 to will be negative.

  3. Write the number using scientific notation with the information obtained in steps one and two.

Alright, let's take the number 1000000 through these steps. The first step is to move the decimal point in 1000000 between the first and second digit. Therefore, we move the decimal point in between 1 and 0 in 1000000.


1milscinot2


We see that the number we will be multiplying by a power of 10 is 1.

The next step is to count the number of places we moved the decimal point and to observe the fact that we are moving the decimal point to the left.


1milscinot3


We have that we moved the decimal point six places to the left. Therefore, the power we raise 10 to is 6.

Great! We've made it to the third step, which is basically just filling in the blanks. We've found that in the number a x 10 b, a is 1, and b is 6, so we have that 1000000 = 1 x 10 6. See? You were right, it wasn't very hard at all!

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