Dimensional analysis means to obtain results by analyzing the units in question, etc. DO NOT USE THIS TAG if your question is about degrees of freedom or spatial dimensions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
2answers
105 views

Do bras and kets have dimensions?

I'm trying to understand more intuitively what bras and kets are, but some aspects of them remain a mystery to me. We usually think of $\psi (x)$ as having dimension of $[1/\sqrt{L}]$ so that ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Exercises with solutions in dimensional analysis - reference request

I am currently trying to brush up on my skills in dimensional analysis, and computing with units. Is there a good source of worked examples, and exercises with solutions? I'd prefer to have solutions ...
-1
votes
2answers
89 views

What does this equation mean? [on hold]

So I have just entered 11th grade and started limits on my own but my Physics textbook has an equation which I don't understand, I suspect it uses integration which I haven't learned yet. So can ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Intuitive understanding of multiplied units [duplicate]

I intuitively grasp division of units as "per", or "the amount you get out compared to what you get in," but when units are multiplied together, as in Newton-meters or whatever, I'm not really capable ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Dimensional Analysis Question [closed]

First of, I would like to say that I have tried this question, and have my answer as well, just not sure such a method of obtaining the answer is valid or not, therefore trying to look for help here. ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Buckingham-$\Pi$ theorem application: the case of only 0 or 1 dimensionless groups?

In dimensional analysis, we might consider a problem like: $$ f(q_1, q_2, ..., q_{n-1}) = q_{n} $$ where $q_i$ are physical quantities of interest. In order to determine how many $\Pi$ groups can be ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Is the dimension “number of particles” a fundamental, or derived dimension (based on mass), or does it depend on the context, or is it dimensionless?

I consider "fundamental quantities" to be those that have dimensions that are are like length, mass, time, temperature, and so on. "Derived quantities" have dimensions that can be written in terms of ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

What does mathematical equivalence means here?

On Motls blog, http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/06/on-importance-of-conformal-field.html, while I was trying to understand what dimensional transmutation means, he said: I said that by omitting the ...
2
votes
2answers
36 views

Natural unit conversion

I'm a bit confused about different notions of "natural units" that I encounter occasionally. I'm familiar with Planck units, and in particular I can understand the conversion between, say, metres and ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

What are the units of the creation and annihilation operators?

The creation and annihilation operators - also known as ladder operators are; $ \hat{a}^\dagger$ and $\hat{a}$ respectively. Using the equation $\hat{H} = \hbarω\left(\hat{a}^\dagger \hat{a} + ...
10
votes
4answers
680 views

Can dimension analysis be used in developing more advanced physics equations?

It is obvious that dimensional analysis can be used to derive many classical mechanics equations (excluding constants). As long as all the dependent quantities are known. My question is whether this ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Does the path integral measure have dimension?

For example, in the field functional integral: $$\int D\phi \ e^{S[\phi]} $$ Does the $D\phi$ here have dimensions?
0
votes
2answers
74 views

What does a unit like $C^{1/5}$ or $kg^{1/2}$ physically mean?

I'm more of a math guy than a physics guy so bear with me.... In fractal geometry, fractals are considered to have fractional dimension. For instance an object such as the Koch curve has a fractal ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Dimensionless numbers in relativistic theory

Dimensionless numbers allow physicists and engineers to extend the physical modeling landscape by reducing otherwise complex mathematics to a simple proportional relationship. For example by assuming ...
13
votes
2answers
524 views

Is $0\,\mathrm{m}$ dimensionless?

Is $0 \, \mathrm m = 0 \, \mathrm s = 0 \,\mathrm {kg} = 0$? How do we define $[0 \, \mathrm m]$? I once was given an assignment where I was asked to deduce and write down some physical quantity. It ...
0
votes
5answers
198 views

What is the significance of the “squared” in $E =mc^2$? [duplicate]

If $c$ is just an arbitrary constant, why don't we say $E=mc$ and define the value of $c$ to be $\sqrt{299 792 458} \approx 17314$ meters per second? Or, why not use $E=mc^3$?
0
votes
1answer
94 views

What are the mathematical models for force, acceleration and velocity?

In mechanics, the space can be described as a Riemann manifold. Forces, then, can be defined as vector fields of this manifold. Accelerations are linear functions of forces, so they are covector ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Converting $F^2$ to $C^2$

I'm trying to convert Fahrenheit squared $F^2$ into Celsius squared $C^2$. I know how to convert a value $x$ in $F$ into $C$ with: $\frac{5}{9}(x - 32)$ I also know how to convert a value $x$ in ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Why are log scales so common?

I am currently reading a very nice book on scales in physics. There is a discussion on the different physical scales which are based on the effect of the corresponding phenomena, the given examples ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Connection between the cosmological constant $\Lambda$ and the cutoff scale $\Lambda$

I'm trying to understand the connection between the $\Lambda$ from cosmology and the $\Lambda$ from QFT. Cosmology: The cosmological constant enters the Einstein equations. In the special case of the ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

Is a vector and a unit vector dimensionless

Lets say I have a position vector $\vec r$. Is it dimensionless or does it have a dimension of length i.e $[L]$. Also does the unit vector $\hat r$ have a dimension?
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Dimensional analysis explanation and teacher issues! [closed]

This is going to sound stupid but anyways. I am currently in a physics class and my teacher likes us to use dimensional analysis which I do not understand how to use or what to do with it! So firstly ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Dimensional analysis, valid reductions of dimensions, and their physical interpretation

So I have been thinking about dimensional analysis and I have been thinking about quantities with components that have negative and positive exponents in the same expression. Two examples: ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Black Hole Entropy Calculation

I was watching "Leonard Susskind on The World As Hologram" ( youtube ). At one point he describes the way Bekenstein calculates the entropy of a black hole. Paraphrasing: Take a minimally sized black ...
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

Confusion in understanding wave number

The wave number is the number of complete wave cycles in a meter. So, $$K = \frac{1m}{\lambda}$$ and also, $$K = \frac{2\pi}{\lambda}$$ so according to both of the above equation how is $$2\pi ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Setting constants equal to 1 conditions

I have the following expression for the entropy of an ideal gas in a microcanonical ensemble, $$S=Nk_B\ln \left[ \frac{Ve}{N}\left(\frac{4\pi m e E}{3Nh_0^2}\right)\right] $$ Ideally I would like to ...
2
votes
2answers
380 views

Checking units for equation with degree symbol

Using the following equation: $$ U = \left(\frac{B \times L \times \sin(\theta)}{C}\right)^{1/3} $$ I can calcukate the velocity of a flow traveling down a slope. I would like to check that the ...
5
votes
2answers
248 views

Units inside a logarithm

I have troubles understanding a seemingly simple integral in a physical context. Take a look at $\int_{V_1}^{V_2} \frac{\mathrm{d}V}{V}$ which appears in isothermal expansions (V being the volume of a ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Deriving (dimensionless) physical constants from theory

The Wikipedia entry on Physical Constants says: With the development of quantum chemistry in the 20th century, however, a vast number of previously inexplicable dimensionless physical constants ...
10
votes
4answers
551 views

How to indicate that a unit is dimensionless [duplicate]

For my dissertation I am preparing a list of symbols used in the text, which basically is a table that consists of the symbol, a short explanation and the dimension it has as indicated below: ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

I read, some time ago about a dimensionless constant in physics [closed]

and, my terminology is probably off, but, I think I can explain with an example. Take a Newton, which can be described as a KG*Meter/Second^2 - which frankly, written that way, looks confusing to me, ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Non-dimensionalizing the “bead on a rotating hoop, with viscous damping” problem

This is not a homework question. Rather, this is an exercise I have taken up on myself. In particular, I am trying to find an algorithmic way to non-dimensionalize known equations, using the ...
2
votes
0answers
19 views

Do the non-dimensionalizing equations that result from the Buckingham-$\pi$ algorithm necessarily have a unique solution?

Consider the Buckingham-$\pi$ algorithm: Let us say that we have $n+1$ relevant variables: $\{Q_0, ..., Q_n\}$. Let us say that we can define their dimensions in terms of $k$ basic dimensions. So, ...
4
votes
2answers
60 views

Complex dimensional analysis

Does complex numbers have physical dimensions? Is it sensible to talk about the dimensional analysis of $Z$ where $Z$ is the impedance of a mechanical oscillatory system? Or is it the $|Z|$ which has ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Scaling of an eigenvalue with the coupling constant

Consider the Hamiltonian $H = - \frac{d^2}{dx^2}+gx^{2N}$. Scaling out the coupling constant $g$, the eigenvalues scale as $\lambda \propto g^{\frac{2}{N+2}}$. So, we can drop the g dependence and ...
1
vote
3answers
116 views

How is it that Force = Mass $\times$ Length / Time ^2?

I understand how $F=ma$ but what I am looking for is a diagram, idiom or concept that explains how force can be explained (in a partial layman's terms) as a combination of the dimensions; Length, Mass ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Units in gravitational $N$ body simulations

I am trying to write a code in Python to simulate $N$ bodies interacting through gravity. In particular I am trying to see whether a system of particles with random initial positions and zero velocity ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

What is the “Pidebuck” generalization of Buckingham π about?

The site http://www.oasification.com/PideBuckingham_en.htm links to two articles that seem to propose a generalization of the (Vaschy?-)Buckingham Pi Theorem which looks quite interesting, but ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Centripetal acceleration units

I perform some basic calculation for circular motion. Formulas we get from school are: $v$ - Linear speed with the units m/s $r$ - Radius of curve in meters $\omega$ - Angular speed with the units ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you find the length of a pencil without a ruler or clock?

Edit: Assume you do have access to all sorts of instruments, but they are all shrunk in proportion. My real question is: If you are shrunken (or expanded) by a constant factor and put in a room ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

What do units like joule * seconds imply?

I can easily understand what divisive units imply, but not what multiplicative units imply. What I mean is, when I read "$12 \:\mathrm{eggs/carton}$", I mentally convert it to, "There are 12 eggs ...
-1
votes
1answer
61 views

Why is the first term of First Law of Black-Hole Thermodynamics in other unit than in joule? [closed]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_thermodynamics#The_First_Law http://www.physics.umd.edu/grt/taj/776b/lectures.pdf (p.13) The 2 sources have various forms of the same law. I found both are ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

For the Uncertainty Principle, Do the Units of the Two Complementary Quantities have to Equal Js?

I know that the Uncertainty Principle is: $△P•△Q=ħ/2$. But do the units on the Left Hand Side of the equation always have to equal 'Js', i.e. Energy x Time (the same is the Plank Constant, $h$) or is ...
0
votes
0answers
142 views

How can q=mcp(deltaT) be made dimensionless?

Specifically, how can I make $m C_p$ dimensionless? I've tried using the Reynolds number and Peclet number definitions to plug into there but the closest I've gotten to was: $q=\pi D Re Pe ...
-2
votes
1answer
39 views

Dimensional analysis of sums [closed]

Quick question: What is the dimension of the following fraction ($\sum_{i=1}^{n}a_i b_i )/ \sum_{i}^{n}a_i$ where $a_1,a_2,...,a_n$ are in kg and $b_1,b_2,...,b_n$ are in Newton?
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Is it possible to prove that units can be manipulated algebraically?

With expressions such as $$4\ \mathrm{\frac{m}{s}} \times 2\ \mathrm{kg} = 8\ \mathrm{\frac{m}{s}} \times 1\ \mathrm{kg}$$ We can justify that a $2\ \mathrm{kg}$ mass moving at $4\ \mathrm{m/s}$ has ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Why to write the Navier-Stokes equation with dimensionless quantities?

The Navier-Stokes equation is $$\rho \dfrac{D\mathbf{u}}{Dt} = -\nabla p+(\lambda+\mu)\nabla(\nabla\cdot\mathbf{u})+\mu\nabla^2\mathbf{u}$$ Then if the flow is incomprresible, and the fluid is ...
7
votes
1answer
328 views

Why should it be allowed to set the einbein to unity?

The Polyakov action for a massive free point particle with worldline $\gamma$ is given by $$ S[\gamma] = \frac{1}{2}\int_\gamma e \biggl(\frac{1}{e^2}\dot{x}^2 - m^2\biggr)\mathrm{d}\tau $$ where ...
2
votes
2answers
213 views

Can Newton's Law of gravity be deduced using dimensional analysis?

I tried using dimensional analysis to deduce Newton's law of gravity but I wasn't able to do so as one of the equations were $0=-2$ which is a contradiction. But I thought that we can't do that ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Proportionality and units

This might be very easy, but I'm not 100% sure how it's done. Lets say I have this equation: $$R = R_{0} \cdot \left[1 - \frac{P_{0}R_{0}}{GM_{0}\rho_{0}}\right]^{-1},$$ where I know $P_{0}$, ...