**Scientific notation** is most often used to express very large or very small numbers.

A number in scientific notation is written in the form

*a* × 10^{n}

where 1 __<__ *a* < 10, and *n* is an integer.

First, move the decimal point 6 places to the left so that the number is greater than or equal to 1 and less than 10.

1,200,000 → 1.2

Since the decimal point was moved 6 places to the left, multiply by 10

^{6} to keep the value of the number the same.

1,200,000 = 1.2 × 10^{6}

Since 10 is raised to a power of -4, move the decimal point 4 places to the left.

1.2 × 10^{-4} = 0.00012