Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from kiara, a student:

The African bush elephant is the largest land animal and weighs about 8 tons . Write the amount in exponential form .

I assume that by this is meant "using scientific notation" and that the answer "$8 x 10^0$ tons" is not acceptable!

If you mean (Imperial short) tons of $200$0 lbs and you want an answer in pounds, multiply $8 \mbox{ by } 2000$ to get $16,000$ and write that as a decimal between $1$ and $10$ multiplied by a power of $10$. So if the elephant had weighed $12400$ pounds (which it doesn't) the answer would be $1.24 \times 10^4$ pounds.

If you mean metric tonnes of $1000$kg ($1$ million grams) you convert to one or the other smaller unit and the answer will of course be $8$ times something.

Good Hunting!

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