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

9
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is it natural to look for solutions involving dimensionless quantities?

While studying the Heat Equation, I got stuck in a statement in my book. It says: We have seen that the combination of variables $\displaystyle \frac{x}{\sqrt{Dt}}$ is not only invariant with ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Relationship between temperature and energy

What is the definition of temperature in relation to energy? I'm mostly interested in general dimensional terms. Is temperature the kinetic energy per mass? Or kinetic energy per volume?
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Expansion in Quantum Fluctuations of the Path Integral

In this post: Dimensionless Constants in Physics there is a discussion about dimensionful vs. dimensionless constants in physics. In the context of this discussion, I'm wondering about the ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Unit of gradient/slope?

So I have a graph: The value of the gradient/slope is $1.6±0.4$ and the value of the intercept is $0.9±0.4$. But what are the units of the graph? Is the unit of the gradient $v^2M^{-1}$? What about ...
0
votes
1answer
161 views

help with absolute pressure to gauge pressure derivation steps

I would like some help with the explicit math steps to go from equation 2 to 3. These equations are presented in a paper that I am reading. I will show where these equations came from and my attempt ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Distance and velocity question

I know that speed is the derivative of distance. So integrating speed should give you distance. Let's suppose we have a speed which obeys this function: $$ v(x) = 2^{2^x} $$ So at time 0 the speed ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Quantum Efficiency Estimation

Might there be a way to do a rough estimate of the quantum efficiency of a photo-detector like a CCD or CMOS sensor based only on a picture taken with it? I've read papers and guides (like this one: ...
1
vote
1answer
684 views

Formula for Electrical Arc Length

I was playing with some High-Voltage the other day, when a question popped into my head. Can you calculate length of an electrical arc? It probably would be proportional to :- 1. Voltage of the source ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

In general, could any ad-hoc relationship of constants be useful?

In general; if one creates an ad-hoc relationship of constants, can we use it to solve equations OR is it just an abstract/artificial math construct? I'm a grad student and as we all know, these ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Dimension agreement in canonical transformation

In this Physics.SE post, there is a transformation: $$Q = q,$$ $$P = \sqrt{p} - \sqrt{q}.$$ for Hamiltonian $H = \frac{p^2}{2}$. The post discusses the validity of this transformation as a canonical ...
4
votes
3answers
215 views

why are the anthropometric units (which are about as big as we are) as large as they are relative to their corresponding Planck units? [duplicate]

so this might have some duplicated inquiry that this question or this question had, and while i think i have some of my own opinion about it, i would like to ask the community here for more opinions. ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Is it possible to change units in order to simplify the value of an exponential?

I have the equation $$F=e^{E_0 i \pi}, $$ where $E_0$ is the time-independent electric field, and $F$ is just some important value I am trying to calculate. Obviously, it would be better if $F=-1$, ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

$c^4$ in Einstein field equations

I have read many derivations of Einstein field equations (done one myself), but none of them explain why the constant term should have a $c^4$ in the denominator. the $8{\pi}G$ term can be obtained ...
3
votes
4answers
207 views

Problems with units of entropy in statistical thermodynamics

The statistical thermodynamics definition of entropy: $S = kN \ln (W)$ troubles me a lot with the problem of dimenstions. where $S$ is entropy; $k$, the Boltzmann constant; $N$ the number of particles ...
-1
votes
1answer
127 views

Why are laws of physics always of product forms?

A first observation is that all the extant laws of physics are of product forms. This phenomenon is somewhat intriguing. The question is: why do law of physics always take, instead of a sum of two ...
6
votes
3answers
158 views

Units of a discrete Fourier transform

Normally a Fourier transform (FT) of a function of one variable is defined as $$f_k=\int^\infty_{-\infty}f(x)\exp\left(-2\pi i k x\right) dx.$$ This means that $f_k$ gets the units of $f$ times the ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Deborah Number for harmonic excitation

I think I do not understand well the concept of Deborah number. It is presented in the sources available to me as the ratio between the relaxation time of a fluid and a characteristic time scale of ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

Find out the dimension of $\frac{a}{b}$ [closed]

$E=b-\frac{x^2}{at}$ [x=distance,t=time, E=energy] I have tried following but don't know whether I am correct or not $$\frac{x^2}{at}=E$$ $$\frac{L^2}{aT}=ML^2T^{-2}$$ $$a=M^{-1}T^{1}$$ ...
2
votes
3answers
124 views

Is quantity a dimension? [closed]

We believe that time is a dimension and that $x$,$ y$, $z$ are dimensions in space. Is quantity a dimension like these? And if not, how do we have dimensionless numbers (like $e$, $\pi$ etc.)?
0
votes
1answer
77 views

The position of a particle at any time $t$ is given by $S = V0/a [1-e^{-at}]$. What are the dimensions of $a$ and $V_0$?

To find the dimensions of and V0, I must know the dimension of S and e. So I want to know it.
3
votes
1answer
119 views

How to interpret $t^2$? [closed]

I can't think of the meaning of squaring the Time (multiplying it by itself). It makes sense in Mathematics. But how can you figure it out in nature (or physics). As an example, the formula ...
1
vote
3answers
194 views

Apparent dimensional mismatch after taking derivative

Suppose I have a variable $x$ and a constant $a$, each having the dimension of length. That is $[x]=[a]=[L]$ where square brackets denote the dimension of the physical quantity contained within them. ...
14
votes
4answers
685 views

Why isn't it $E \approx 27.642 \times mc^2$?

Sorry for the strange question, but why is it that many of the most important physical equations don't have ugly numbers (i.e., "arbitrary" irrational factors) to line up both sides? Why can so many ...
0
votes
2answers
942 views

Taking force, mass and length as base units, find the dimensional formula of velocity [closed]

My doubt is that how can force be considered as a base quantity. Is that possible? How can I represent the dimension of velocity using it?
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Finding dimensional formula

$$y(x,t)=2A\sin(Kx)\cos(\omega t)$$ $A$ and $x$ are in metre, $\omega$ is angular frequency. Then find dimensions of $A$ and $K$. In this equation how can I find the dimension of $K$?
2
votes
3answers
85 views

Is dimensional analysis always sufficient to establish equivalence of quantities?

In dealing with the Biot-Savart law, it was argued that $$ q\frac{d\vec{s}}{dt}\equiv Id\vec{s} $$ using the fact that the units are equal. Does this kind of argument always work? It seems too ...
2
votes
3answers
292 views

What is a proportionality constant? (Planck's constant)

I understand that Planck's constant is essentially the ratio between the energy of a photon and its frequency. There are 2 things that im trying to verify: isn't the number that Planck's constant ...
3
votes
2answers
316 views

Exponential or logarithm of a dimensionful quantity?

I have a unit measure, say, seconds, $s$. Furthermore let's say I have a dimensionful quantity $r$ that is measure in seconds, $s$. What is the unit measure of $e^r$? ($1/r$ is in $Hz$.) My question ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Dimensional analysis

I was recently introduced to dimensional analysis and I wanted good references for learning the ideas behind it and representation of the natural world. I'm a grad student in biology. I don't have ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Why do we set $x^0 = ct$ instead of $x^0 = t$?

When we deal with Special Relativity and we start considering spacetime instead of space and time each at once, we usually see books saying that we consider a space with four coordinate $x^\alpha$ ...
0
votes
1answer
224 views

What does really mean by- power of a number or an exponential function is dimensionless? [duplicate]

Is power of only a number or an exponential function is dimensionless? If power of any other thing can also be dimensionless then please explain with examples.
0
votes
1answer
207 views

Dimensional Analysis to Determine a Formula

The kinetic energy of a particle confined to a spherical region with a uniform internal potential depends on its mass, the radius of the sphere, and the Planck constant. An electron, confined to such ...
7
votes
1answer
240 views

Why dimensionality of the Electric Charge varies with the spacetime dimensions?

The point is: We can find via dimensional analysis that the electric charge dimensionality varies with the dimension of space-time. $$[\text{charge}] = eV^{(3-D)/2}$$(You can see below the way I did ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

How can Planck units be consistent with conflicting dimensions of mass?

I suspect I'm missing something obvious, but I'm coming up blank. I've gotten pretty comfortable with so-called natural units over the years: in doing quantum mechanics/QFT, it's common to set $c = ...
1
vote
2answers
172 views

What is dimensional units/quantity and dimensional state

First, I am not a native English-speaking student so I am not good at physics definitions in English. I participated in the MIT e-learning course on classical physics. The 1st lesson is about 3 ...
2
votes
2answers
637 views

Units of the Stokes-Einstein rotational diffusion coefficient

The Stokes-Einstein rotational diffusion relation tells us that we can write down a rotational diffusion coefficient for a sphere as: $$D_r \approx \frac{k_B T}{\zeta_f} \approx \frac{k_B T}{(8 \pi ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

Definition of Ohm in SI basic units in words

One way Wikipedia defines Ohm is (this is also teached in school): $$1\Omega =1{\dfrac {{\mbox{V}}}{{\mbox{A}}}}$$ They describe this definition in words, too: The ohm is defined as a resistance ...
45
votes
7answers
5k views

What justifies dimensional analysis?

Dimensional analysis, and the notion that quantities with different units cannot be equal, is often used to justify very specific arguments, for example, you might use it to argue that a particular ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Is there a physical quantity which is the reciprocal/multiplicative inverse of time?

Is there a physical quantity which is the reciprocal/multiplicative inverse of time? If time =distance/speed what is speed/distance. Please forgive my ignorance if there is a really simple ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Dimensional Analysis : Thermodynamics

I was coming across some notes online for phase transitions. In one of the places, the author has written the Claussius-Clayperon equation in this form, $$ \frac{d(ln P)}{d(ln T)} = \frac{T\Delta ...
2
votes
0answers
338 views

What prediction led to the vacuum catastrophe?

The disagreement between predicted and measured energy density of the vacuum is one of the great unsolved problems of science. According to this book the predicted energy density was obtained as ...
3
votes
8answers
2k views

Why does Coulomb's constant have units?

I think of Coulomb's constant as a conversion factor (not sure if this is correct). Kind of like how you would do calculations in kg and then times it by the conversion constant to convert your answer ...
1
vote
3answers
451 views

What does the decay constant mean?

In my curriculum, the decay constant is "the probability of decay per unit time" To me, this seems non-sensical, as the decay constant can be greater than one, which would imply that a particle has a ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Integrating equations with units

I was looking through an old copy of Barron's AP Physics and found this problem relating to impulse which I was initially confused about how to integrate. Example 6.1 During a collision with a ...
2
votes
5answers
286 views

Could velocity be taken as fundamental instead of time?

In physics time and length are taken as fundamental in the SI system and, as it seems, in the thinking of physicists. Could one instead take velocity, with c as its unit, together with length as ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Surface gravity for a rotating charged black hole

I have that the surface gravity (at the outer event horizon) for a Kerr-Newman black hole is $$ K_+ = \frac{r_+-r_-}{2(r_+^2+(J/M)^2)} = ...
2
votes
0answers
256 views

Dimensional analysis to estimate order of magnitude of quantities

In the Coursera course From the Big Bang to Dark Energy on several occasions dimensional analysis was used to estimate the scale of quantities. This almost seems like a contradiction in terms to me, ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Problems with dimensions when solving an ODE

I'd like to solve the following differential equation: $$\frac{dQ}{dt}=\frac{k_BT}{m}-\frac{\alpha Q}{m}$$ where $Q$ has units of $\text{m}^2\text{s}^{-1}$, $k_B$ is Boltzmann's constant, $T$ is ...
2
votes
2answers
704 views

Mass dimension of coupling constants in various dimensions

Just a quick question: Suppose I want to consider QED or YM in 4 dimensions we always say that the coupling constants are dimensionless and that the field then has a specific mass dimension. What ...
9
votes
2answers
179 views

Is it possible to speak about changes in a physical constant which is not dimensionless?

Every so often, one sees on this site* or in the news† or in journal articles‡ a statement of the form "we have measured a change in such-and-such fundamental constant" (or, perhaps more commonly, "we ...