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Scales in space and time
Scales in space and time

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1 Working with large and small numbers

When exploring different scales, you will inevitably encounter very big and very small numbers, and need to be able to express these and use them in calculations. Values will also be measured to varying degrees of precision and sometimes presented in different units from those you are familiar with.

The size–time explorer and associated questions rely on some knowledge of some fundamental mathematical concepts that underpin scientific study and practice. Before you explore the tool it is worth spending some time (re-)visiting these mathematical ideas. This is a brief look at some principles before you have the opportunity to apply your skills to exploring scales, but links are provided to more in-depth maths support, if you need it.