KNOWLEDGEBASE - ARTICLE #1366

# What does it mean when some results have e in the number?

Last modified March 22, 2009

Prism switches to scientific notation when the values are very larger or very small. For example:

- 2.3e-5, means 2.3 times ten to the minus five power, or 0.000023
- 4.5e6 means 4.5 times ten to the sixth power, or 4500000 which is the same as 4,500,000

This is a standard notation used by many computer programs including Excel. Entering a value in this form is not the same as entering the logarithm of a number. This is simply a shortcut way to enter very large values, or tiny fractions, without using logarithms

Note that in other contexts, e = 2.71828183, the base of natural logarithms. But when used in displaying large or small numbers, e means "times ten to the power of...".

Keywords: e powers of ten, exponent