Answer on Mechanics | Relativity Question for Andrew
For this reason, if the third digit is 5, consider the value of the fourth digit instead, as this will tell you whether rounding up or rounding down will give you the closest number. If the fourth digit and all the rest of the digits are 0, then both rounding up and rounding down are the same distance from the original number, and it is up to your local convention which one you choose to do.
For this number, the first two digits, keeping their place value, gives us the number 290,000,000 meters per second. The third digit in the original number is 9, so we round 290,000,000 up to 300,000,000 meters per second.
It is difficult to tell how many digits are significant in standard notation, so most publications use scientific notation. We would write it as 3.0x10^8 meters per second instead, where we explicitly write 2 significant digits including the significant 0 as the multiple of 10^8
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