# Understanding Significant Figures in Measurements

## Understanding Significant Figures

**Significant figures**, also known as significant digits, are digits that carry meaning contributing to the precision or accuracy of a number.

When determining the number of significant figures in a measurement:

**Non-zero digits are always significant**. In this case, the numbers 3, 8, 7, and 6 in 3.876 are significant.**Zeroes between non-zero digits are significant**. The zero between 3 and 8 in 3.876 is significant.**Leading zeroes (zeros to the left of the first non-zero digit) are not significant**. For example, 0.034 has only two significant figures.**Trailing zeroes after a decimal point are significant**. In 23.050, the zeroes after 5 are significant.

Therefore, in the measurement 3.876 Ã 10^3 kg, there are **four significant figures**: 3, 8, 7, and 6.