01-07-2016, 12:22 AM

Many calculators have an implied multiply and mathematicians may not be surprised if

2(4)

Returns

8.

But physicists sometimes use a similar syntax to represent uncertainty in a measurement:

3.14(23)

Is understood to mean something like

a number between 3.14+0.0023 and 3.14-0.0023

(Perhaps that's not quite right, but its not 3.14*23).

So if I am trying to parse a number in a cell or a string or a file and it contains

3.14(23)

(1) how can I tell what it means?

(2) how can a calculator tell what it means?

(3) do any calculators have a maths/physics mode?

(4) Or is there a subtle difference in the syntax that I have misread?

2(4)

Returns

8.

But physicists sometimes use a similar syntax to represent uncertainty in a measurement:

3.14(23)

Is understood to mean something like

a number between 3.14+0.0023 and 3.14-0.0023

(Perhaps that's not quite right, but its not 3.14*23).

So if I am trying to parse a number in a cell or a string or a file and it contains

3.14(23)

(1) how can I tell what it means?

(2) how can a calculator tell what it means?

(3) do any calculators have a maths/physics mode?

(4) Or is there a subtle difference in the syntax that I have misread?