Template talk:E

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This template is intended to facilitate and uniformise scientific notation numbers. To render:


instead of writing:


you can write simply (and much more legibly):


which yields:


Urhixidur 20:46, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Copying this to the template page under Usage. (It'll be much more helpful there.) — SheeEttin {T/C} 14:37, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Should this be moved, deleted, or left alone?[edit]

I'm coming from Category talk:Chemical element symbol templates#Standard, and there is a discussion there about creating a standard chemical symbol template which applies to all elements. This template, however, needs a name, and {{element}} is already taken. Since the next logical name, {{e}}, is already used by this template, I would suggest a move of this template to Template:10^ (valid title) or something else, but I noticed the {{sn}} template, which seems to make this template redundant. Since either this or the {{sn}} template is redundant, I suggest that this template be replaced with the element template (see a working example in my sandbox) and the {{sn}} template be used instead of, or replaced by (replace the wikicode there with), this one. Please comment. :) Nihiltres 17:53, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Without any response, I'm going to go ahead (being bold) with a move to replace {{sn}} with this template, change all links here to go to that template (edit: subst every instance of this template, including the insane ones), and add the element template here. If you don't agree, please say so now and leave me a message on my talk page - I'm going to go ahead after placing this note. Nihiltres 04:20, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
i think i disagree. this exponential notation is very useful and i believe will be more widely used than the chemical template for a non-existant element that you want to create. r b-j 02:23, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
also, did you notify User:Urhixidur about this? i don't think he would like what you're doing either. r b-j 02:24, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Excess line break[edit]

I've noticed that when using this template, a line break is added between the preceding number and the e template. For example, 5{{e|-5}}, yields:

×105 I've added a br post-fix to show original problem -- SGBailey 08:40, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

This interrupts the flow of articles and infoboxes where this template is used. Can this be fixed? --Volcanopele 19:45, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Still not fixed (or explained) -- SGBailey 08:25, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Done. Hopefully nobody depended on the earlier, broken behavior. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 10:02, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Fixed behaviour - 5×105 -- SGBailey 08:41, 29 August 2007 (UTC)


Add interwiki to cs:Šablona:Scinum. Thanks. --User:DJ Jeri —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:45, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

MOS breach: spacing of the × sign[edit]

See also Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#Common_mathematical_symbols:_spacing.

Please note that MOS requires spaces on both sides of the multiplication sign. I wonder whether someone can fix this technical glitch (it has come up at WP:FAC). Tony (talk) 13:44, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree that this needs to be fixed in order to conform with the MoS.—RJH (talk) 18:19, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I added &nbsp; on both sides.--Patrick (talk) 22:52, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you indeed, Patrick. Tony (talk) 10:16, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with this change. While it might be appropriate to put spaces on either side of a times symbol in an equation, it should not be spaced when it appears within a number in exponential notation, since the number is a single entity. These spaces should be removed. (2×104 vs 2 × 104).--Srleffler (talk) 16:33, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I oppose this change as well. It is not appropriate to include spaces when using × as part of scientific notation. While there are no formal guidelines for use of white space like this, it should be used where it assists in readability. The number written in scientific notation should be easily viewed as a single unit, with space between it and other operators (since the multiplication is part of the number and is not being emphasized as an operation). An except would be in an article explaining how scientific notation works; one might use space there to emphasize the multiplication. I’ve changed the template back. — Knowledge Seeker 18:43, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
This kind of arrogance gives mop-people a very bad name. So now, in the first article I looked at in the "linked to" pages, we have this squashy rubbish:
e = 1.60217653×10-19 C
Nice one. In fact, that page is littered with many of these gobbledygooks. I don't know why you think you had consensus to move back this template so that it breaches the Manual of Style, but your actions just suck. I think the proper spaced version should be reinstated and that you should argue it out at the MOS talk page, as anyone else with a scrap of decency would. Tony (talk) 07:41, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
It is hardly arrogant to revert a change to a template back to its original behavior. I think the “squashy rubbish” you cite is the preferable version. I don’t know why you thought you had consensus to change a widely used template. The Manual of Style provides guidelines, not overarching requirements for all possible cases. I see no need to argue it out at the MOS talk page, as you seem to be the only one there arguing for the spaced version, but I will be happy to add my voice. — Knowledge Seeker 09:09, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, if you're happy for all FA candidates to be knocked back for not following MOS in this respect, fine. It's because of this mismatch between MOS and the template that the issue was raised by RJH, followed by my voice here. You've acted improperly by not discussing the matter in relation to the MOS guideline, which is mandatory for FAs to follow. I'll ensure that until it's worked out properly at MOS, FA candidates wait. You're call. Tony (talk) 09:47, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Opposing a FA on this ground alone would be patently disruptive conduct. Please contact me if it ever happens. But is Tony quite serious? I cannot give full credit to any post ending You're call. ;-?Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:47, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
The example shown with e looks exactly right. As a constant, it should not have spaces within it. I have substituted the template above so the text will remain the same for purposes of this discussion, even if the template changes again.--Srleffler (talk) 16:58, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that this version (no spaces) looks better, and looking through some published texts that style seems pretty typical. Christopher Parham (talk) 02:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
  • OK, so the template is no longer acceptable in FAs. Tony (talk) 11:57, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that is an incredibly arrogant response. While you may not have agreed with the change, how it is discussed, or if you feel a nonconsensus change was made, it is completely out of line to use the FA to make a point. I don't think you intended your remarks to be taken as such. We must remember that sometimes the MOS does not factor all situations in, and discussion will find the best usage.—Twigboy (talk) 22:17, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Is that a sarcastic "sorry", is it? I'm not sorry; the plain fact is that the MOS requirement for spaces has been there for some time, and FAs must follow it (Criterion 2). Just why we should all bow and make an exception for this one point, just because this Knowledge Seeker and Slerffer want to bludgeon their own preferences back into the template, is beyond me. You yourself are incredibly arrogant to make such a remark. Um ... which other FA criteria or MOS guidelines would you like FACs to be able to ignore? Tony (talk) 01:20, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Considering the readability issues, and just the aesthetics of it, I agree with Tony here that the MOS recommendation makes more sense than the spaceless version. Spaces don't break the implication that the exponential is part of the number, and they make it easier to quickly absorb numbers in scientific notation and differentiate them from other exponentials (as the x is more easily mistaken for another digit without the spaces).--ragesoss (talk) 21:32, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't get the fuss here. If MOS says that there should be spaces, this template should follow. If editors are not happy, they are free to suggest amendments to MOS, but as long as that has not been implemented, I would suggest following MOS, rather than personal preferences of regular editors on this page. (In other words I think Tony has a good point). Arnoutf (talk) 23:33, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I marginally prefer the version with spaces, but Tony is making an unnecessarily big deal over it. It's not important. Tony is talking about opposing featured articles just because he doesn't like the template-provided spacing around the multiplication sign, which is a very silly thing to do. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 00:57, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
The open version would be e = 1.60217653 × 10-19. It is much harder to read if substed, because of the &nbsp;s, and I find it somewhat less readable in text. But this is a matter of taste; it should be left alone, especially if (as is usual) it was inserted in MOS by fewer editors than have discussed it here. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:55, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Bear in mind, please, that Anderson has been conducting a strident campaign to discredit the operation of MOS. We just let him bluster. I'm afraid that this template has indeed rendered itself unusable by FAs. It was done with full knowledge that this would be the case. I believe that another template has been developed that does a similar job, but is consistent with MOS and much easier to read than that squashed-up version we have to swallow from this one. Tony (talk) 01:58, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The section linked to did not actually discuss exponential notation, but actual multiplication, like 4 × 4, which should indeed be spaced for clarity. Tony, these are not the same thing, and there is no reason they should have the same notation. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:12, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Copying over my opinion from MOS Talk:
Some of the arguments here are a little silly. There's no precedent to the idea that when you combine two things, you have to spell them as one word. There can be several words to refer to a single item. Ice cream? That's one thing. The University of Pennsylvania? That's one thing. Two hundred and three? That's one thing. 1 × 1023? That's one thing. Even 2 + 2 is one thing. It's 4, and it's four, and it's 22, and it's 2 + 2, and it's 4 × 100, and it's 1 × 100.60206, and there are many different ways you can spell it. You could call it 1 × 110.57813 if you wanted to. Why be inconsistent just for scientific notation? Yes, scientific notation is the standard way to express large numbers. But scientific notation is just multiplication and exponentiation. It's not a special case, it's just as legitimate as any other expression. It's just the expression we agreed on.
My point, and my opinion, is: Scientific notation should be spaced exactly the same way that multiplication is. The beauty of math notation is that it's perfectly consistent and modular; it's not weirdly ambiguous and full of special cases the way English orthography is. Let's not ruin it. —Werson (talk) 06:29, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, quite so. TONY (talk) 07:07, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Comment: {{val}} spaces the times sign. So do the SI brochure, the introduction to ISO/IEC 80000, etc. -- Army1987 (t — c) 00:32, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, but more fundamentally, it's simply easier to read when spaced. It's for this reason, and the failure to adopt the minus sign, that I've been strongly recommending against the use of this template, and will continue to do so. Tony (talk) 01:15, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I come here as a late player I suppose, but its completely senseless to have this template go against what the MoS proscribe. I've been systematically replacing every {{e}} I've seen by the appropriate non-breaking space version X × 10Y. Please edit this template to be MoS compliant, it's a really PITA to add spaces manually. Wikipedia is the only place I see multiplication "unspaced" when it's a "scientific multiplication" but not when it's a "regular multiplication". Either it's a multiplication, or it's not. There's no such distinction as "regular multiplications" and "scientific multiplications". Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 17:33, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

No, there's a distinction between multiplication and scientific notation. This is the latter, and so correctly more closely spaced; but usage varies, as we should. That MOSNUM is still giving the wrong directions with the utmost confidence should not be surprising. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:21, 14 January 2009


There is not. Scientific notation is simply the convention that you write things down in such a way that you multiply an integer power of ten that will leave only one number before the decimal. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 05:22, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
That's a view; it has great originality. Please don't impose it on Wikipedia; we have enough embarrassments. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:28, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, like the one where we treat multiplication differently depending on whether or not we're multiplying an integer power of ten.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 06:13, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
  • In my view, the template is unacceptable in FAs. Tony (talk) 12:19, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
It's unacceptable period. Change it back to the spaced version with the dash equals minus sign functionality. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 05:18, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Minus sign[edit]

It might be useful if the template converted hyphens into true minus signs automatically. The following code would do the job.


or with that space between the "×" & the "10" ...


or making the space optional ...


Anyhow back to the minus sign ... It seems to me that such a modification would be of great help, making it easier to enter negative exponents when calling the template directly and making possible to display proper minus signs when calling the template from another template without having to convert to real minus signs in that original template. There should be no problem with backward compatibility. The code above will treat &minus; or the actual character as a non-numerical entity and will therefore return just what it always did. Also non-numerical strings containing hyphens will be left alone. And if you really must have a hyphen with your number use &#45;. JЇѦρ 01:07, 4 April 2008 (UTC)



Can an adminstrator please change the first line of this template from




To explain: Multiplication has always taken the form a × b, with spaces around the multiplication sign. Therefore, scientific notation has always taken the form a × 10b, with spaces around the multiplication sign. This usage is required by the the MOS, and is fully supported by general usage, aesthetics, and common sense. The scientific canon is well in agreement on this format; all major publishers of journals and textbooks use spaces around multiplication signs, even in scientific notation.

Some time ago, two editors arbitrarily decided that the times sign should not have spaces around it. Their argument, which you can read above, is (to paraphrase) that scientific notation does not contain spaces, because scientific notation is different from multiplication, and scientific notation does not contain spaces. This is a circular argument that defies all reason. It has been a year now, and there have been absolutely no legitimate arguments made for why this template should be a special-case violation of the MOS and mathematical notation.

It would be greatly appreciated by all of us. Feel free to read the above discussion; consensus is very much in our favor (a similar template, {{Template:Val}}, has been correct for quite some time). Thanks again. —Werson (talk) 06:07, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

 Done --CapitalR (talk) 07:17, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I read the argument differently: that exponential notation is a special form with its own convention, and this convention need not be the same as regular multiplication.
I might agree with this except for the fact that exponential notion, by its own convention, is the same as the convention for regular multiplication. I have a text by Donald Knuth from 2005 which clearly shows the use of spaces around the multiplication sign in exponential notation, and he has as much of a fetish about this kind of thing as any conceivable life form.
I was disappointed I couldn't use the val template to render 1010 in a quotation I was fixing which was reading 1010. It didn't seem right to modify a quote to state 1 x 1010 when it didn't originally write it in that form. I worry with the sup form that the next person to cut and paste will end up with 1010 again, which a template might be clever enough to avert. - MaxEnt (talk) 09:40, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
What trumps all is that such expressions are much easier to read when not scrunched up. It is the same logic as for other factorial expressions, only here, the need is often more obvious because of the length of the decimal expression. Tony (talk) 14:45, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Minus recognition and {{val}} enhancements[edit]

{{editprotected}} Replace

{{template doc}}


{{template doc}}

This adds the {{val}}} functionality to the exponent, and will now output 12{{E|-2}} as 12 × 10−2 rather than as 12 × 10-2. It is fully backwards compatible, so if 12{{E|&minus;2}}, or A{{E|BC}} was entered, they will display as usual (12 × 10−2 and A × 10BC). Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 20:41, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 08:21, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Excellent! Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 08:30, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Excess line break part 2[edit]

I'm not sure if the above change is the cause, but an excess line break similar to that noted above (#excess line break) in 2007 has reappeared, but immediately before the exponent rather than before the times sign. This line break only occurs if the paragraph within which the template is used is preceded by one or more colons, as on talk pages. This new line break even appears above in the 2007 complaint.
Thus no line break: 5×105

versus a line break: 5×105

Joe Kress (talk) 06:06, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I think I found the problem, see my editprotected request at Template talk:Val/delimitnum. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 20:13, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Fixed. That was half the problem, the other was a line break in between the <sup> and the {{#switch:... line. Thanks to PeterSymonds for his time. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 20:34, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Additional features[edit]

Replace the current code with


This will implement the new functionalities described in the documentation. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 20:55, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

 Done Shii (tock) 21:11, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Tracking category[edit]

Any objection to adding a tracking category which would check for usage without specifying the exponent? It turns out that this template is used on the FR wiki for ordinals. This check would catch some cut-and-paste errors coming from copying stuff from the FR wiki. Thanks! Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 03:54, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Seems like there is no objection. I will add it soon. Plastikspork (talk) 00:41, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Spacing (2)[edit]


I suggest to replace



<span style="margin:0 .15em 0 .25em">×</span>

Explanation: this keeps the same amount of space between the mantissa and the multiplication sign, but reduces the amount of space between the multiplication and the exponent. This offsets the fact that the digit "1" has the extraneous padding on the left (at least in the default font used on Wikipedia). As a result of this change spacing around the multiplication sign will look more balanced. For example, compare the current version: 6.022×1023, and the proposed version: 6.022×1023. // stpasha » 07:50, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

  • 6.022×1023 (current)
  • 6.022×1023 (proposed)
  • 6.022×1023 ({{val}})

Let's see... The proposed version brings it in line with {{val}}, so I support.Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 11:18, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Looks fine to me. Tony (talk) 11:52, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
 Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:12, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Spacing yet again[edit]

I can see this has been raised multiple times, but why are there spaces (albeit half spaces) between the numbers and the multiplication sign? I don't think a single number should ever be written with internal spaces. –CWenger (^@) 02:56, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Because binary operators are spaced. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 05:26, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
The problem I see is if you have a formula like 3 × 104 × 5 × 106, it's not immediately obvious what numbers are grouped, versus 3×104 × 5×106. –CWenger (^@) 05:37, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
It's also completely irrelevant. If you want to make it "obvious", uses parenthesis. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 05:49, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that makes sense—let's group single numbers with parentheses... –CWenger (^@) 16:02, 29 July 2011 (UTC)