I was doing a statistics probability problem and I needed to find the value of (0.17)^4. When I entered the value into my calculator, I noticed that it gave me the answer in scientific notation (8.3521E-4). I figured let me try entering 8.3521 * 10^-4 hoping that it"d give me the decimal form I was looking for. However, it was the same exact issue.

I went to the "mode" option of the calculator thinking that there was something wrong with the setting but everything was fine. I don"t mind manually converting the scientific notation into decimal form but I"d really like for the value to be already in decimal form given the workload of these problems.

Note: I have a TI-84 Plus Silver Edition.

You are watching: How to get exact answers on ti-84 plus

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edited Nov 6 "17 at 5:11

Misha Lavrov
asked Nov 6 "17 at 3:54

Joy NathJoy Nath
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The calculator automatically uses scientific notation for numbers smaller than \$0.001\$ in absolute value, no matter what your mode settings are; this cannot be overridden.

The most straightforward way to get the calculator to immediately tell you how many zeroes there are after the decimal, in such a case, is to add \$1\$:

0.17^4 8.3521e-4Ans+1 1.00083521Just ignore the \$1\$ in front of the decimal point and you have the answer you want.

Note that in general, this will lose you precision:

0.17^8 6.975757441e-7Ans+1 1.000000698In this case, it"s not too bad: we can use the second output to count zeroes and the first for more digits. Sometimes, it will lose you all of the precision:

0.17^16 4.86611919e-13Ans+1 1But in this last example, maybe you don"t want the number as a decimal after all.

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edited Nov 6 "17 at 5:10
answered Nov 6 "17 at 4:56

Misha LavrovMisha Lavrov
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Scientific notation can represent exact numbers if they are terminating decimals. In your case \$0.17^4=0.00083521=8.3521E-04\$ exactly. Did you drop the final \$1\$? I would expect the calculator to show it. The calculator probably does this calculation as \$e^4 log 0.17\$ and \$log 0.17\$ cannot be represented exactly, so there is a reasonable chance that the result is not exact. I wouldn"t expect that to change anything as far forward as the fifth place, but seeing \$8.35209999E-04\$ would not surprise me

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answered Nov 6 "17 at 4:45

Ross MillikanRoss Millikan
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