College Physics Problem 1.18

(a) How many significant figures are in the numbers 99 and 100?

(b) If the uncertainty in each number is 1, what is the percent uncertainty in each?

(c) Which is a more meaningful way to express the accuracy of these two numbers, significant figures or percent uncertainties?


Part a

99 has 2 significant figures

100 has 3 significant figures

Part b

\displaystyle \frac{1}{99}\times 100\%=1.0\:\%

\displaystyle \frac{1}{100}\times 100\%=1.00\%

Part c

Based on the results of parts a and b, the percent uncertainties are more meaningful.