# Dividing Significant Figures (Sig Fig) Calculator

This Dividing Significant Figures Calculator computes the quotient of the numbers entered in and places the resultant value into proper significant figures.

Significant figures, or digits, are the values in a number that can be counted on to be accurate. Significant digits in a number are those values which can be known with certainty or a high degree of confidence, while insignificant digits are those which we do not trust as very accurate.

Significant digits are used extensively during measurements. Different measurement tools can record measurements of differing accuracy. Some measurement tools can record much more in detail than other measuring tools. For example, if we have a ruler that only measures centimeters, we can measure to one-hundredth of a meter. If we now change the ruler and get one which measures millimeters, we can measure to one-thousandth of a meter. Thus, we can have an extra significant digit, because the ruler is more detailed and allows for more accuracy of measurement.

It is important to be honest when making a measurement, so that the resulant value does not appear to be more accurate than the equipment used to make the measurement allows. And how we make the recorded value honest is by controlling the number of digits, or significant figures, used to report the measurement. The recorded value cannot have more significant digits than the measuring tool allows. This is why using the proper amount of significant digits is so important.

Just to understand terminology, in a division operation, there is a dividend, a divisor, and quotient. The dividend is the number being divided. The divisor is the number that is dividing a number. And the quotient is the resultant answer from the division operation. So, for example, in the division operation, 8/2= 4, 8 is the dividend, 2 is the divisor, and 4 is the quotient.

When dividing significant digits, the amount of significant figures in the final product is determined by the number of significant digits in the dividend and the divisor. The quotient can only have as many significant digits as the dividend or the divisor with the least amount of significant digits. So if the dividend has 3 significant digits and the divisor has 2 significant digits, for example, the quotient of the division operation can only have 2 significant digits in it. So, again, the quotient can only have as many significant digits as the least amount of significant digits found in either the dividend or the divisor.

This is the only rule to follow when dividing numbers and keeping proper significant figures. It must be determined how many significant figures are in the dividend and the divisor. Once this is determined, the quotient can only have as many significant figures as either the dividend or the divisor with the least amount of significant digits.

To use this calculator, a user simply enters in the division problem into the text box using the "/" as the division operator, and clicks the 'Calculate' buton. The resultant value in proper significant figures will be automatically computed and displayed.

Being that electronics, like any other science, deals with measurements, knowing how to divide significant figures may be important. Depending
on the measuring tool in use determines how accurate it can measure. Using the proper number of
significant figures may be extremely important.

Examples

What is 542/3.2?

542 / 3.2= 170

Being that 542 has 3 significant digits and 3.2 has 2 significant digits, the quotient can only have 2 significant digits.

What is 45/0.002?

45/0.002 = 2000

Being that 45 has 2 significant digits and 0.002 has 1 significant digit, the quotient can only have 1 significant digit.

What is 6.0/2.00?

6.0/2.00= 3.0

Being that 6.0 has 2 significant digits and 2.00 has 3 significant digits, the quotient can only have 2 significant digits.

Related Resources

Multiplying Significant Figures Calculator

Adding Significant Figures Calculator

Subtracting Significant Figures Calculator

Significant Figures (Sig Fig) Calculator

Significant Figures Rounding Calculator