So here we're going to say that significant figures indicate the level of precision involved with measurements and recordings. And when we get to ideas such as uncertainty, we'll see significant figures playing a bigger role. Now we're going to say a number with more significant figures is more precise. Now we're going to say determining the number of significant figures for any given value can be easy depending on how you do it. There are a lot of rules associated with significant figures, but to make it simpler for ourselves, we'll break it down into 2 simple ideas and it has to do with the presence of a decimal point or not.

So if we take a look here, we're going to say, for significant figures, our first rule is this: if your number has a decimal point, you're going to move from left to right. You're going to start counting once you get to your first non-zero number and keep counting until the end. So our first non-zero number as we're moving from left to right is this 2. So that's where we start counting and we count all the way until the end. So 1, 2, 3. This would have 3 significant figures.

Now if your number doesn't have a decimal point, they're going to move from right to left. We're going to start counting again once we get to our first non-zero number and keep counting until the end. So our first number here is 5, so keep counting all the way until the end. So 1, 2, 3, 4, this would have 4 significant figures. And to keep significant figures easy for us to understand, we're going to go by these two simple rules.

Now there'll be other things that pop up, which we'll talk about in the following example, but for right now, just realize that we have these two basic rules to help us with significant figures. Now that we've done that, let's move on to our example.