Compare the following decimals: 4.32 x 10  against 4.32 divided by 10 2. Which one is greater than?

 

 

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To find the answer you need to understand what each really means. The caret ("^") is used to mean "to the power of". 4.32*10^2 is the same as 4.32*100=432, since multiplying by 10 and its powers has the effect of moving the decimal point to the right, making the number larger. When you can move it no further to the right, you just insert zeroes at the end of the number you are multiplying.

When you divide by 10 and its powers, the decimal point moves to the left, making the number smaller, when you run out of digits to put the decimal point in front of, you insert zeroes to the front of the number so that you have a place to put the decimal point. so 4.32 divided by 10^2 or 100 makes it 0.0432. Multiplying any number by 100 is always greater than dividing it by 100, so 4.32*10^2 is greater than 4.32/10^2.

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