# Exponential Numbers

**Daniel MarcelinoDaniel Marcelino » R**, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)

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I received a message asking me why I use so often numbers like 1e6 (exponential form) instead of writing down the whole numbers. I never thought on this before. However, I can assure that it’s not because I’m lazy and don’t like typing long numbers. In fact, thinking on this made me find a reasonable explanation for this: With very large or very small numbers one can end up miscounting some zeros, hence we sometimes can avoid this by typing those numbers in exponential format. So 1e6 is 1*10^6=1,000,000 and 2.1e-4 is 5.1*10^-4=0.00051. In Stata one can figure out what the exponential number means by typing: display 1e6, whereas in R it is enough to type: format(1e6, scientific=F). Now, if you want R to display only scientific number instead, you want to set options as: options(scipen = -10).

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**Daniel MarcelinoDaniel Marcelino » R**.

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