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 Question from Victoria, a parent: The cost of each space shuttle is about $10,000,000. Write this amount in exponential form. Actually, they cost much more than this, according to NASA. The cost of the shuttle Endeavour was 1.7 billion US dollars. That is$1,700,000,000.

One way to write this is in scientific notation, which is a single digit, then a decimal and some number of decimal places, multiplied by 10 to some exponent. In scientific notation, this would be \$1.7 × 109, because you would move the decimal place 9 spots leftwards to go from 1,700,000,000. to 1.7.

10000 would be written as 1. × 105 in scientific notation, or could be written as just 105, which is a simpler exponential form.

Cheers,
Stephen La Rocque.

Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.