# Need Help Understanding Object Masses -1 reply

Picard_1

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10th June 2005

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#1 13 years ago

As we know, some of the objects in Bridge Commander have very large masses. For example, the Federation Starbase in KM 1.0 has a mass of 4e+011.

In scientific notation "e" represents the power of 10. So we could have a number like 10 to the 23rd power. However, to represent that number on a computer we have to say 10e23.

In BC, there is a + and a 0 before the exponent. What is the purpose of the + sign, and why is there a 0 in the exponent? Furthermore, what is the actual mass of 4e+011?

I would like to know so I can use these formulas to represent large masses in BC.

*Daedalus

A Phoenix from the ashes

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18th April 2006

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#2 13 years ago

4e+011 is 4 to the power of 11. I assume the 0 is there in case there is something with X to the power of 100 or more. The plus is there because there could also be 4e-011. I.e. 4 to the power of minus 11. Hope that helps...

Picard_1

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10th June 2005

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#3 13 years ago

Ah, now I get it. Do you know if there has to be 6 variables for BC to understand the equation?

*Daedalus

A Phoenix from the ashes

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18th April 2006

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#4 13 years ago

First of, it's an expression. An equation has an "=" sign. ;) And where are you getting six from? I'm counting five.

Picard_1

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#5 13 years ago

Ahem, yes...I meant 5 variables.

exodus_499

... soon to be "reconditioned"

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16th April 2007

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#6 13 years ago

I thought 4e+011 was to do with standard form - so it means " 4 x (ten to the power of) +11", or 400000000000 -011 would mean "4 x 10 (to the power of) -11" or 1/400000000000 = 0.0000000000025 Come to think of it, if you switch the windows XP calculator to scientific mode then type 4 "Exp." 11, it shows "4e+011" - I rest my case.

*Daedalus

A Phoenix from the ashes

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18th April 2006

3,091 Posts

#7 13 years ago

exodus_499

... soon to be "reconditioned"

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16th April 2007