How Do You Write Numbers in Standard Form?

The standard form of a decimal number places the decimal point after the first digit and then reflects the true size of the number by multiplying it by the appropriate power of 10. This form of a number is also known as its scientific notation form.

For example, the standard form of the number 3,692,000 is 3.692 x 10^6. This method of notation allows any trailing zeros to be ignored, so it saves space when dealing with larger numbers. It is also possible to reflect very small numbers by using negative powers of 10 to remove lead zeros. In this way, 0.00045 becomes 4.5 x 10^-4, for example.