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# What is -3.402823466E+38?

Posted on 2014-12-16
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I have seen it more thann once, but today I resolved to better understand it.

The minimum signed value for a "float-ed" value in MySQL is documented as "-3.402823466E+38." What is the "E+38" thing?

I've seen this in Excel as well as in databases and I've always understood it to mean a large value, or a large number of decimal points, but I wanted to "know," hence my appeal to the experts.

What does "E+38" mean?
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Question by:brucegust
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Accepted Solution

Kimputer earned 2000 total points
ID: 40502932
Add the amount in zeros (or move the dot)
-3.4E2 would be -340 (2 operations, move dot once, add zero after that)
-3.402823466E+10 = -34028234660
and E+38 applies the same rule (add 28 more zeroes to my last answer)
You see this notation in calculators and written in computer language.
In Math class it's 3.4 x 10(number) where number is smaller and in superscript. If the number is negative though, the zeroes and dots go the other way (0.2E-2 = 0.002)
Since the whole point of it all is to write it in a compact manner, writing it down like 3000E+10 makes no sense, and 3.0E+13 should have been written)
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Author Comment

ID: 40503004
Perfect! Thanks!
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