The significant figures (also called significant digits or, informally, 'sig figs') of a number are those digits that carry meaning contributing to its precision. This includes all digits except: leading and trailing zeros which are merely placeholders to indicate the scale of the number. spurious digits introduced, for example, by calculations carried out to greater precision than that of the original data, or measurements reported to a greater precision than the equipment supports.
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Significand
The significand (also coefficient or mantissa) is part of a floating-point number, consisting of its significant digits. Depending on the interpretation of the exponent, the significand may represent an integer or a fraction.
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Numerical digit
A digit is a symbol (a numeral symbol such as "3" or "7") used in combinations (such as "37") to represent numbers in positional numeral systems. The name "digit" comes from the fact that the 10 digits (ancient Latin digita meaning fingers) of the hands correspond to the 10 symbols of the common base 10 number system, i.e. the decimal (ancient Latin adjective dec. meaning ten) digits.
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Double-precision floating-point format
In computing, double precision is a computer number format that occupies two adjacent storage locations in computer memory. A double-precision number, sometimes simply called a double, may be defined to be an integer, fixed point, or floating point (in which case it is often referred to as FP64). Modern computers with 32-bit storage locations use two memory locations to store a 64-bit double-precision number (a single storage location can hold a single-precision number).
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Floating point
In computing, floating point describes a method of representing real numbers in a way that can support a wide range of values. Numbers are, in general, represented approximately to a fixed number of significant digits and scaled using an exponent. The base for the scaling is normally 2, 10 or 16.
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Fortran
Fortran (previously FORTRAN) is a general-purpose, procedural, imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing.
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Exponential function
In mathematics, the exponential function is the function e, where e is the number (approximately 2.718281828) such that the function e is its own derivative. The exponential function is used to model a relationship in which a constant change in the independent variable gives the same proportional change (i.e. percentage increase or decrease) in the dependent variable. The function is often written as exp(x), especially when it is impractical to write the independent variable as a superscript.
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Iteration
Iteration means the act of repeating a process usually with the aim of approaching a desired goal or target or result. Each repetition of the process is also called an "iteration," and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration.
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