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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21
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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
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1answer
55 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
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3answers
56 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 ...
4
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3answers
880 views

$\hbar$, the angular momentum and the action

Is there anything interesting to say about the fact that $\hbar$, the angular momentum and the action have the same units or is it a pure coincidence?
9
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2answers
1k 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\ ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
1
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1answer
99 views

making an equation dimensionless

I have a balance of energy equation as following (for a spherical particle that colliding with a spherical fluid droplet) Left hand side is for before collision and RHS for after that: ...
1
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1answer
84 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 ...
0
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0answers
57 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 ...
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1answer
33 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
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2answers
71 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 ...
5
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1answer
243 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 ...
1
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2answers
77 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 ...
6
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2answers
3k views

What does the Reynolds Number of a flow represent physically?

What does the Reynolds Number of a flow represent physically? I am having trouble understanding the meaning and the utility of the Reynolds number for a certain flow, could someone please tell me how ...
1
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1answer
34 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 $P_{0}$, ...
-1
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1answer
41 views

Operations on physical quantities [closed]

I know what quantities like meter and second are, they are a certain quantity of one-dimensional space and a certain duration of time respectively. And I know what a measurement of a quantity using a ...
19
votes
1answer
491 views

Mass of empty AdS$_5$

Five dimensional empty AdS$_5$ space has mass $$ E = \frac{3 \pi \ell^2}{32 G}. $$ Is the above equation correct? Let's do some dimensional analysis to confirm. In natural units, in 5 dimensions ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

How do I make an equation to be dimensionally consistent? [closed]

Velocity is related to acceleration and distance by the following expression: $$v^2=2ax^P$$ Find the power P that makes this equation dimensionally consistent. $$\frac{v^2}{2a}=x^P$$ ...
4
votes
0answers
38 views

In terms of scale, where does the concept of Reynold's number cease to have meaning?

The Reynolds number is classically described in terms of pipe geometries but its use has also been usefully extended to other more complex surface geometries to predict transitional flow behavior. But ...
0
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0answers
60 views

Choice of units when truncating Taylor series for physical quantities

It is common practice in physics to truncate Taylor series of (possibly) very complicated functions to obtain a good approximation of the relevant physical behaviour; for example, the Coulomb ...
1
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0answers
75 views

Drag - Dimensional Analysis / Buckingham Pi

Dimensional Analysis / Buckingham Pi Theorem I'm working on dimensional analysis and I'm having trouble. Here's a problem from my book I'm working on for practice. I'm suppose to consider a small ...
1
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2answers
78 views

How can I understand how $\text{m}^2/\text{s}^2$ is related to $\text{J}/\text{kg}$?

$E=mc^2$ is the famous equation that states the equivalence of mass and energy, with a conversion factor in units of $\text{m}^2/\text{s}^2$. But in my naive mind, the conversion factor of mass and ...
2
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2answers
117 views

How to recover units?

Theorists frequently use convenient units like $\hbar=1$ or $m=2$ or whatever is useful to simplify the notation in the problem. And after all the calculations are done the units are recovered based ...
1
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1answer
243 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 ...
1
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1answer
75 views

Dimensional Analysis in Electromagnetism (SI vs Gaussian-cgs)

Looking at Konopinski's formula for conjugate momentum (in the comment after equation 3 of "What the Vector Potential Describes"): p = M v + q A /c it is plain enough that M v is momentum, but if we ...
2
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5answers
269 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
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1answer
54 views

Dimensions of wave equation

If you take the homogenous wave equation: $$-\Delta_x u(x,t) + \frac{1}{c^2} \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial^2 t} (x,t) \ = \ 0 \ \ \mathrm{in} \ \Omega \times (0, \infty),$$ with some proper initial- ...
9
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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 ...
4
votes
3answers
157 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 ...
0
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1answer
72 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
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1answer
87 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 ...
0
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1answer
125 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
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2answers
576 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 ...
1
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1answer
126 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 ...
1
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1answer
73 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
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0answers
25 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: ...
0
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1answer
97 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Square bracket notation for dimensions and units: usage and conventions

One of the most useful tools in dimensional analysis is the use of square brackets around some physical quantity $q$ to denote its dimension as $$[q].$$ However, the precise meaning of this symbol ...
4
votes
3answers
191 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
224 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
78 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 ...
-1
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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
107 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
564 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
145 views

Data requirement to determine proportionality

A common result of theoretical analysis in physics is some sort of relation derived from physical parameters and typically expressed in the form of a non-dimensional parameter. These scale relations ...
3
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1answer
38 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
154 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
112 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
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1answer
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3
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1answer
111 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 ...