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.

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Dimensional analysis, dimensionless quantities and ratios

What justifies the "canceling out" of the same units? I have difficulty understanding the point of dimensionless quantities. Usually, when you have a concept like mass over volume, which is density, ...
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2answers
115 views

Is the “dimension” in dimensional analysis the same as the “dimension” in “three spatial dimensions”?

When we talk about the dimension of a quantity (e.g. the dimension of acceleration is$[ L \ T ^ {-2}]$) are we talking about the same "dimension" as when we talk about three dimensional space? Are ...
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3answers
100 views

Is it possible to be changed Energy Unit in future or it is strict reality in nature?

Could you pease tell me why energy unit must be $Energy=Mass . \frac{Distance^2} {Time^2}$? (I tried to write general form of Energy unit) What is the strong proof of that unit? Does it just depend ...
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4answers
180 views

Why is the time taken for something to fall proprtional to acceleration due to gravity?

This is a continuation of this question. I saw in a piece of writing (that I no longer seem to be able to aquire) on dimensional analysis that: $$t \propto h^\frac{1}{2} g^\frac{-1}{2}.$$ How can ...
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4answers
314 views

How do I go from exponents to a formula?

This is a continuation of this question. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-01-physics-i-classical-mechanics-fall-1999/video-lectures/lecture-1/ skip this lecture to around 25:50. After doing ...
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1answer
349 views

Dimensional Analysis with $\alpha$, $\beta$, and $\gamma$ Powers

In Prof. Walter Lewin's Dimensional Analysis lecture, he stated that: $$t ~\propto~ h^α m^β g^γ$$ ($\alpha$, $\beta$ and $\gamma$ all to some power of their unit). Why does he put $h$, $m$ and $g$ ...
3
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1answer
281 views

How is the apparent significance of (length) scales in physics explained?

From what I understand, especially from reading arguments on Physics.SE, different (length) scales of a system are extremely important. It's clear that if there are two scales $\delta,d,D,\Delta$ with ...
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1answer
147 views

Working with atomic (?) units in solid state physics

I'm having some troubles understanding the units used in solid state physics paper. In the paper I read $\Lambda a \sim 1$ where $\Lambda$ is a momentum cutoff and $a$ is the lattice spacing of a ...
2
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1answer
134 views

How to interpret the appearance of time units in the units of a physical quantity?

Or phrased more abstractly, how to interpret the appearance of time dimension $[time]$ in the dimension of a physical quantity? For example, the dimension of pressure is $[mass] [length]^{-1} ...
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2answers
219 views

Dimensional analysis, fermions masses, and universal constants

I was wondering if it was possible to have a theory one day from which we will be able to derive the numerical value of the speed of light or Planck's constant. After a quick Google search the answer ...
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5answers
970 views

Can Planck's constant be derived from Maxwell's equations?

Can mathematics (including statistics, dynamical systems,...) combined with classical electromagnetism (using only the constants appearing in chargefree Maxwell equations) be used to derive the Planck ...
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3answers
745 views

What is the meaning of speed of light $c$ in $E=mc^2$?

$E=mc^2$ is the famous mass-energy equation of Albert Einstein. I know that it tells that mass can be converted to energy and vice versa. I know that $E$ is energy, $m$ is mass of a matter and $c$ is ...
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1answer
605 views

Dimensional Analysis: Buckingham Pi Theorem Using a Matrix

I have the following problem - which is basically that $\omega = f(g,h,l)$ now the book claims that the two $\pi$ terms as follows $\pi_1 = \omega \sqrt{\frac{l}{g}}$ and $\pi_2 = \frac{h}{l}$. Now we ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Dimensional Analysis: Buckingham Pi Theorem

I am studying for a fluids quiz and I am having a few problems relating to dimensional analysis but for the time being fundamentally I have a problem selecting the repeating variables. Like does ...
11
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5answers
841 views

units and nature

I am wondering whether the five$^1$ units of the natural unit system really is dictated by nature, or invented to satisfy the limited mind of man? Is the number of linearly independent units a ...
2
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1answer
707 views

Question Concerning Dimensional Analysis

In the first lecture of MIT's Classical Mechanics Professor Lewin talks about Dimensional Analysis.He talks about an apple being dropped from a certain height can be quantitatively expressed as the ...
3
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4answers
357 views

$P=ρgh$ - intuitive understanding of the equation?

I've come across this equation recently which relates pressure with the product of density, gravitational acceleration and height difference in a medium. I understand that $P = ρgh$ expands to ...
6
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1answer
604 views

Why can you remove the gravitational constant from a computer game simulation?

I've seen in a few gravity simulation games (ie. bouncing balls) the equation: force = G * m1 * m2 / distance^2 shortened to this by removing the gravitational ...
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8answers
1k views

In dimensional analysis, why the dimensionless constant is usually of order 1?

Usually in all discussions and arguments of scaling or solving problems using dimensional analysis, the dimensionless constant is indeterminate but it is usually assumed that it is of order 1. What ...
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5answers
1k views

Dimensional analysis restricted to rational exponents?

After some reading on dimensional analysis, it seems to me that only rational exponents are considered. To be more precise, it seems that dimensional values form a vector space over the rationals. My ...
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11answers
6k views

What is the logarithm of a kilometer? Is it a dimensionless number?

In log-plots a quantity is plotted on a logarithmic scale. This got me thinking about what the logarithm of a unit actually is. Suppose I have something with length $L = 1 km$. $\lg L = \lg km$ It ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Why are smaller animals stronger than larger ones, when considered relative to their body weight?

I am interested in why many small animals such as ants can lift many times their own weight, yet we don't see any large animals capable of such a feat. It has been suggested to me that this is due to ...
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1answer
309 views

Deriving or justifying fundamental constants

Is there a fundamental way to look at the universal constants ? can their orders of magnitude be explained from a general points of view like stability, causality, information theory, uncertainty? ...
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2answers
5k views

Dimensonal analysis of damping constant?

What are the units of the damping constant from the following equation by dimensional analysis? $$\zeta = \frac{c}{2\sqrt{mk}}$$ I'm assuming the units have to be s^-1, as the damping constant is ...
10
votes
3answers
684 views

How can I understand counterintuitive units like $\text{s}^2$?

One of the things I never understood, but was too afraid to ask is this: how should I think of things like $\frac{\text{kg}}{\text{s}^2}$. What exactly is a square second? Square foot makes sense to ...
8
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2answers
862 views

How does the period of an hourglass depend on the grain size?

Suppose I have an hourglass that takes 1 full hour on average to drain. The grains of sand are, say, $1 \pm 0.1\ {\rm mm}$ in diameter. If I replace this with very finely-grained sand $0.1 \pm 0.01\ ...