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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Why is the candela dimension J, not W?

According to the table at the bottom of the Wikipedia page for the candela, the dimension for candelas is J (joules). Why is this not W (watts)? The luminous intensity for light of a particular ...
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3answers
202 views

Center Of Mass Troubles

I understand the concept of Center Of Mass(com), but I am having a difficult time interpreting the equation of the simplified case of one-dimension. The book I am reading defines the position of the ...
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1answer
100 views

Introducing dimensionality of the $+$ and $-$ signs [closed]

Is it possible to introduce some dimensionalty as $\text{kg}$ for mass or $\text{m}/\text{s}^2$ for mathematical signs: plus - $+$ and minus - $-$. The main reason of this is to avoid some common ...
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1answer
173 views

Notation for two variables with same dimensions [duplicate]

What symbol represents "has the dimensions of", as in "x has the dimensions of d"? Does such a symbol exist?
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3answers
477 views

Planck time, distance, mass? Why do we take those values?

Say we want to make an educated guess for critical values of time, distance and mass, where quantum gravity effects are supposed to be non-negligible. These values are given the prefix "Planck-". Now, ...
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2answers
137 views

Dimension analysis of de Broglie equations

One form of one of the de Broglie's equations is this: $\lambda = \frac{2\pi\hbar}{p}$ Units: $\lambda = [m]$ $\hbar = [Js]$ $p = [\frac{kg m}{s}]$ $J=[Nm]$ How can one show with dimension ...
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3answers
136 views

How could the unit of a constant be unit of tension $N^{-1}$?

From my pervious Question:What are the units of the quantities in the Einstein field equation? i noticed that the unit of this constant $\frac {G}{c^4}$ is the unit of tenstion $$\frac ...
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2answers
943 views

What are the units of the quantities in the Einstein field equation?

The Einstein field equations (EFE) may be written in the form: $$R_{\mu\nu}-\frac {1}{2}g_{\mu\nu}R+g_{\mu\nu}\Lambda=\frac {8\pi G}{c^4}T_{\mu\nu}$$ where the units of the gravitational constant $G$ ...
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3answers
830 views

Tips on teaching Dimensional Analysis?

What's a good way to explain dimensional analysis to a student? Here's a simple question which this method would be useful: Let's say a truck is moving with a speed of 18 m/s to a new speed of 13 ...
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4answers
367 views

Is dimensional analysis used outside fluid mechanics and transport phenomena?

Most dimensionless numbers (at least the ones easily found) used for dimensional analysis are about fluid dynamics, or transport phenomena, convection and heat transfer - arguably also sort of fluid ...
6
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1answer
3k views

What are the units or dimensions of the Dirac delta function?

In three dimensions, the Dirac delta function $\delta^3 (\textbf{r}) = \delta(x) \delta(y) \delta(z)$ is defined by the volume integral: $$\int_{\text{all space}} \delta^3 (\textbf{r}) \, dV = ...
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7answers
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Why are radians more natural than any other angle unit?

I'm convinced that radians are, at the very least, the most convenient unit for angles in mathematics and physics. In addition to this I suspect that they are the most fundamentally natural unit for ...
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1answer
333 views

Question about units in Lagrangian dynamics (inertia matrix)

I have a 3 degree of freedom system and my equation of motion is like this: $$M(q)q_{dd} + C(q,q_d)q_d+G(q)~=~0$$ $M(q)$: inertia matrix $C(q,q_d)$: Coriolis-centrifugal matrix $G(q)$: potential ...
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1answer
123 views

Dimensional analysis for gravitational radiation expression

on this paper, please refer to equation 2.117 for the power emitted for a rotating mass system: $$ P = - \frac{128}{5} G M^2 R^4 \Omega^6 $$ power in cgs should be (g is grams, m is meter, s is ...
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1answer
1k views

Understanding units and the units of the derivative operator

Suppose that $f$ is a function from unit $A$ to $B$, then what is the unit of $f'(x)$?. We can do $f'(x)\Delta x$ to get an estimate of $f(x + \Delta x)$. Since the latter has unit $B$, so has the ...
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5answers
2k views

How to get Planck length

I know that what Planck length equals to. The first question is, how do you get the formula $$\ell_P~=~\sqrt\frac{\hbar G}{c^3}$$ that describes the Planck length? The second question is, will any ...
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2answers
1k views

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
118 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
103 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 ...
2
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4answers
186 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
319 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
365 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
288 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
150 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 ...
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1answer
145 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
225 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
1k 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 ...
3
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3answers
852 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
625 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
855 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 ...
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1answer
753 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 ...
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4answers
372 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
627 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 ...
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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
319 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
709 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 ...
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2answers
908 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\ ...