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Place Holder Zeroes
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A place-holder zero is a zero that "pushes" digits out where they need to be.

                                                        OR

A place-holder zero is any zero between a non-zero number and a decimal point.


Example 1: Place Holder Zeroes in 34,000.
In the number 34,000, all three zeroes are place-holder zeroes. They "push" the 34 out where it needs to be. (The 3 needs to be in the 10,000's place and the 4 needs to be in 1000's place.)
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Example 2: Place Holder Zeroes in .000000917
In the number .000000917 all six zeroes are place-holder zeroes. They "push" the 917 out where it needs to be (where it means a tiny amount). 
                                                   place holder zeroes

Example 3: Place Holder Zeroes in 507,100.
In the number 507,100 only the two zeroes at the end are place-holder zeroes. They "push" the 5071 out to where it needs to be.
The 0 between the 5 and the 7 is not a place holder. It's part of what's being pushed away from the decimal by the two place holder zeroes.
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Example 4: Place-Holder Zeroes .00008003.
In the number .00008003 only the first four zeroes are place-holder zeroes. They "push" the 8003 out to where it needs to be.
The two 0's between the 8 and the 3 are not place holders. They're part of what's being pushed away from the decimal by the four place-holder zeroes.
                                 place holder zeroes

Example 5: Place-Holder Zeroes .00310
In the number .00310 the first two zeroes are place-holder zeroes. They "push" the 310 out where it needs to be.
                    place holder zeroes
Remember: All digits in a number are significant figures except for place-holder zeroes.
People who saw this lesson also found the following lessons useful:
Significant Figures
Significant Figures and Measurements
Determining Number of Significant Figures in Answer
Scientific Notation and Significant Figures
Significant Figures and Conversion Factors
 
   
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