For this let us 1st consider a decimal number as 2454.2. In the given decimal number, decimal consists of just tens place i.e. only a single digit 2 to its right. To write the number such that we have our decimals present in hundredths we need to shift the position of the decimal one place towards the left of decimal. This brings the digit 2 that was earlier in the tens place to a new position or place value of hundred i.e. 102. So, for this we would require to divide the given number by 10 and multiply it by 10 to get the hundredth place value as follows:
(2454.2 /10) * 10 = 245.42 x 101. This won’t affect the value of the number when it is used in mathematical calculations.
Similarly, we can assume one more example like 0.4. In this number also the decimal is in tenths place value. Here also we would multiply and divide the given number by 10 to get the decimal in hundredths place as: (0.4 /10) * 10 = 0.04 x 101.
In scientific notation also we use the same method of shifting the decimal position such that the number is represented in the form of exponents of 10. Exponent to which 10 is raised is known as characteristic.