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Scientific Format Scientific Format numbers are displayed as a number expressed to a power of 10 so 100 would be shown as 1.00 E+02 where E+02 represents the power of ten which the 1.00 is raised to. If you use this format, you can choose how many decimal places can be displayed in the number. Scientists use this format to represent very large values such as astronomical distances and the speed of light as these numbers would normally involve writing out 10 or more digits. You can choose how many decimal places of the number are displayed. Click here to return to the Excel index. 