# how do you define the decimals indicator: E-3?

Sorry for the terrible question, but how do you define E-3, which is used in the calculators to indicate that the first 3 decimals in the number are not displayed ?

0.000563 = 5.63E-3


I need to write in my thesis something like: "Please, pay attention that the values are shifted by 3 decimals".

thanks

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x.yzwE-3 = x.yzw$\cdot 10^{-3}$. – t.b. Jun 13 '11 at 13:39
@Theo Buehler I actually need to write it down in words. Something like: "Please, pay attention, the values are shifted". – Patrick Jun 13 '11 at 13:52
Well, I'd say: "Please pay attention that the decimal point is shifted three digits to the left because of the decimal exponent $10^{-3}$", but I'm no native speaker. Out of curiosity: What kind of thesis are you writing that you can't assume familiarity with this on the part of your readers? I for one learned that in elementary school, maybe 3rd or 4th grade. By the way: your equality is wrong: 0.000563 = 5.63E-4 – t.b. Jun 13 '11 at 13:57
Instead of closing this answer, why doesn't one of the people voting to close actually, you know, answer it? – user1729 Aug 1 '13 at 15:29
@rschwieb It is about communicating maths. If I am interpreting it correctly, the OP wants to make it clear than when they are writing 5.3 they mean 0.0053. Which is not as uncommon as you might think. – user1729 Aug 1 '13 at 18:48

It depends on what you're writing about. It's probably easier to just write $5.63\times10^{-3}$ in the place of $0.00563$ in a math text. If you really don't want to write the $\times10^{-3}$ (for example, in a table), just say "please note that the values in this table represent the error(or whatever they represent) divided by $1000$."
If you're writing about something physical that has units (for example, distance) write: "Measurement is in millimeters" or "Measured in $\text{mm}$."