How to calculate significant figures
When converting or manipulating measurements, your final result is only as significant as your least significant value. So, if you see a phrase like “5 kg (or 11.023113 lbs)” that’s just plain wrong. The original kg value has only a single sig fig and so the conversion should only be given to one sig fig too, i.e. 5 kg is about 10 lbs.
Here’s a nice online significant figures calculator you can use to do the work for you:
When you’ve finished doing your sig figs calcs why not take the chance to subscribe to NASA’s free Tech Briefs magazine, which offers newsbytes and features on all the math and engineering, science, and technology happening at NASA right now.