Issue Date: May 25, 2009
Ah! Slide Rules
MARTHA DIBBLEE reminds us that we no longer require students to use a slide rule (C&EN, March 2, page 6). As a result, today's students have lost a feeling for the meaning of accuracy. Because computers and calculators can spin out an endless number of digits, some students may think these reflect accuracy, whereas slide rules could only be read to three or four significant figures, reflecting the true accuracy of many measurements and data.
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