If you’ve ever tried multiplying numbers in the **millions** and **billions** on your calculator, you’ve either gotten an error or some number that looks like this:

Notice how this calculator condenses the large output with **E17**. The E17 is the calculators way of writing:

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On paper, we can also condense very large or tiny outputs using *scientific notation.* Examples of numbers written in scientific notation look like the following:

Notice how all of them have the **same pattern**: a number followed by a decimal and more numbers times 10 to the power of a positive or negative integer. The steps to converting any ordinary number to this notation is outlined below:

To convert a decimal number to scientific notation:

- Rewrite the given number with a single digit to the left of the decimal point, discarding any non-significant zeros.
273 → 2.73

2. Then multiply this number by the power of 10 that will make it equal to the original number.

2.73 × 1

00→ 2.73 × 10²

- Notice how the
power of 2corresponds to the number zeros in 100.

The first video provides a quick tutorial of what’s stated above, including some examples where the number is *negative*, *between -1 and 1*, and numbers *greater than 1*.

- If you’d like more examples, watch part 2 here.

There will also be times when you’ll be expected to go from scientific notation to standard, **decimal notation**. Let’s make sure we know how that’s done too. Here are few examples to follow along to: