This article is within the scope of WikiProject Measurement, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Measurement on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
This page (and I guess the related ones as well) is wrongly named: "1 E5 m" means "15 m", which of course equals "1 m", and not the intended "100 km". The name should be "10 E5 m" = "105 m". Besides, it is clearer to not separate the notation of the exponent from the number it affects, thus "10E5 m" or "10e5 m" rather than "10 E5 m"; another option is to use a caret: "10^5 m". OTOH, I think that for numbers up to a million or a billion, writing them out in full would be the clearest: "100,000 m", or even better "100 km". Using the exponential notation makes full sense when dealing with really huge zillions with dozens of zeroes; but when dealing with numbers in the commonly used range, that notation is counterintuitive because numbers like 100 or 10,000 aren't commonly spelled 10E2 or 10E4 beyond some scientific writings, and so "10E2 m" or "10E4 m" look arcane to most people, while "100 m" and "10 km" are instantly understandable for everyone (and what most people would naturally query in the Wikipedia search). Uaxuctum 13:55, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)
While your interpretation of the "E" as an equivalent of "to the power of" (or the caret sign ^) is suggestive, this is not common terminology. Instead, the notation "E..." is to be read as "times 10 to the ...-th", see for example scientific notation, or the syntax of floating point literals in most programming languages.
The reason for the rather cryptical naming of these articles is (as far as I understand) ease of linking: the articles seem to be intended to be linked from, ideally, every occurence of a quantity of the given order of magnitude to assist in "getting a feeling" for it, especially for those not familiar with the unit system (being more accustomed to anglo-saxon measures, for example). As all these articles use a consistent naming scheme now, you do not have to remember any individual article names to implement this. You may consider creating appropriate redirects, however. --J.Rohrer 20:22, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)
It's not "an interpretation of mine". Do a Google search for "10E5" and you'll get scores of technical and university pages where "10E5" stands clearly for "105" - which is not suggestive of it not being common terminology. Using "1 E5" to mean "105" is an idiosyncratic, not an intuitive choice, leading to confusion of interpretation and hindering the representation of other powers, because if E means "times 10 to the power of", how on earth does one represent "205", "15", "25", etc.?
The notation is not intended for this, but for representation of floating point numbers in a fixed-base numeral system (usually base 10, of course), so, for instance, 205 would be 32 E5. For general powers, one would use another notation, for example using the caret.
The immense majority of people are not naturally going to search for "1 E5" (nor link to "1 E5") when they mean "100,000". So, even if one chooses to name all the articles with a consistent but idiosyncratic, cryptic and confusing terminology, one isn't helping to make the Wikipedia any user-friendly. Names of articles should not be cryptic, but clear and free from possible confusions of interpretation. The E method is by all parameters not the appropriate one. The two options that do not lead to confusion are the caret method ("10^5 m") and the more user-friendly "100,000 m" (or even clearer "100 km"). Uaxuctum 17:21, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Who would search for such an article at all? You will usually come to these order-of-magnitude articles by following wikilinks, so one may argue that, from the readers' point of view, the naming is secondary. Personally, I do not particularly like the "E" notation, so I do not intend to defend the naming scheme any further, but in my opinion it is certainly not wrong and probably not even particularly misleading.
Whatever, if you wish to continue this discussion I suggest moving it on the parent article talk page. I will copy the above text there. Notice however that the topic seems to have been discussed before, see archive. --J.Rohrer 22:13, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)