Scientific Notation

from by icanhasmath

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lyrics

A toast to numbers great and small,
Like Avogadro’s number holy moley!
It’s six hundred two quintillion
and some change.

The speed of light roughly
let c three hundred million meters
to the second though we think it might be slowing which is strange.

Also of course minute amounts,
Mu–naught magnetic constant counts for this
You thought four π (two τ) divided by ten million small,
But then you walked the Planck’s length blind:
At one point six decillionth of a meter, mind
the gap the edge was quite a way before.

These numbers all are useful, but essentially reducible
to make us able to compute them, keep us up to pace,
for trillion and quintillionth, are both hard to picture when
you know what’s really the important thing is the decimal place.

AND SO…
A necessary explanation, of Scientific Notation.
Big Significand times ten and exponential indication,
Whether minute or immenser, extra Large or quite condenser,
50 cents or 50 grand: a change of five in power land.

C three hundred million transformed into something brilliant,
As the photon glides through space at three times ten to the
eighth. Scientific haven, with an exponential heaven
Magnetic constant: four π (two τ) - times ten to negative seven.

Scientific Notation
It separates computation.
Significand fracas! Look right!
Exponent vs. Exponent
Multiply / divide Miss Siggy
Add / subtract the exponent
Respectively as I have said,
Now simplify the exponent.

Slide around the decimal
Until there is only a single digit to it’s left
There is only one step left.
For each slide left add one,
To the exponential sum,

When sliding right, you take away,
Since Sixteen-thirty-seven when
Descartes figured a significant method
Leading to invention of convention,
And you need no invitation, for the mention
Words become undone

Vive! Scientific Notation.

credits

from icanhasmatheatre! The Archive., released August 28, 2014

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icanhasmath Minneapolis, Minnesota

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