The large numbers that characterize many scientific problems become much easier to manage if you employ scientific notation. Scientific notation involves taking a large, bulky number and replacing it with an expression that involves two numbers that express the value of the large, bulky number but do so in a more compact way. Of the two numbers, the first usually consists of a rational number less than 10. For example, you might see 3.4, 4.5, or 9.2. The second consists of 10 with an exponent. For example, you might see 102, 102^{2}, or 10^{22}. The exponent can be negative or positive, depending on whether you are addressing a number less than 1 or a number greater than 1. An example of a number less than one is 0.0003.

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