Units are standards of measurement used for different types of quantities.

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7
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2answers
840 views

Having trouble weighing the sun

So I gather the way you (and Vera Rubin) calculate a galaxy's mass is by measuring a star's orbital velocity $v$ and its distance $R$ from the galactic center, and then plugging them into this ...
4
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6answers
381 views

Is there a quantity measured in kilogram seconds?

I'm trying to get a full grasp on the relationship between many of the units that are used in kinetic physics. I've found that it is possible to make a venn-diagram that shows the factors of many of ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Why is density an intensive property?

I am still trying to understand what are intensive and extensive properties. Possibly someone can give a pointer to a decent text (preferably on the web), as I am not too happy (to say the least) with ...
4
votes
4answers
151 views

How accurate are constants in cgs units?

I am just curious that if constants in cgs units change the answer of an equation. For example, Coulomb's constant, in SI units it equals to $8.98...\times 10^9 \,\mathrm{N\,m^2\,C^{-2}}$. However in ...
4
votes
3answers
385 views

Is speed an intensive property?

I remember being taught in elementary physics that while it makes sense to add volumes, masses, or heat, it makes no sense to add temperatures. As I wanted to use that to illustate some other issue, ...
-2
votes
1answer
29 views

Physical Quantities [closed]

What are the physical quantities which most relate to their definition? Could you give some examples? The definition I found is: " it is any property which can be measured". In the case of mass the ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is 'amp' a technically invalid term?

I've been told to use the term ampere in exams and class (I'm in high school), instead of amp as it's not a valid unit, although I've been using the amp for years along with all of my friends who do ...
1
vote
2answers
81 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
vote
1answer
65 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Why aren't units with powers, like cm³, surrounded by parentheses?

Since $\renewcommand{\unit}[1]{\,\mathrm{#1}} 1\unit{dm} = 10^{-1}\unit{m}$, it follows that $1\unit{dm^3} = 10^{-1} \times 10^{-1} \times 10^{-1} \unit{m^3} = 10^{-3} \unit{m^3}$. However, in ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Why are magnetic fields so much weaker than electric?

In EM radiation, the magnetic field is $ 3*10^8$ times smaller than the electric field, but is it valid to say it's "weaker". These fields have different units, so I don't think you can compare them, ...
0
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
2
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1answer
52 views

Why do we take the value of the constant in Coulomb's law as $\frac{1}{4\pi\varepsilon_0}$? [duplicate]

Why do we take the value of the constant in Coulomb's law as $\frac{1}{4\pi\varepsilon_0}$?
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Is there a difference between Hertz and 'frames per second'?

It's not uncommon that the term 'frames per second' (sometimes abbreviated as fps or FPS) is associated with, or even equated to, the unit Hertz (Hz). I'm not exactly sure how these two concepts ...
0
votes
4answers
98 views

Can someone explain to me how to solve $6.6738410*10^{-11}\ \text{m}^3\text{kg}^{-1}\text{s}^{-2}$, the formula to find the gravitational constant? [closed]

Can someone explain to me how to solve $6.6738410\times 10^{-11}\ \text{m}^3\ \text{kg}^{-1}\ \text{s}^{-2}$, the formula to find the gravitational constant? I'm writing a bunch of reports about the ...
3
votes
4answers
71 views

Measurement in reciprocal metres

I'm trying to name a measurement that is measured in reciprocal length, which is in a draft document for vehicle risk management. It currently says: ...
3
votes
3answers
211 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
68 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
3answers
99 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 ...
2
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0answers
33 views

Units and missing constants in quintessence expressions?

In cosmology, quintessence is an alternative to the cosmological constant. In this approach (described here), we consider a scalar field $\phi$ and its self-interacting potential $V\left(\phi\right)$ ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Different factors of $4\pi$ and $\epsilon_0$ in Poisson equation [duplicate]

Some authors claim the Poisson equation is $$\nabla^2 \psi = -\dfrac{\rho}{\epsilon\epsilon_0}$$ (e.g. Wikipedia) whereas other ones (e.g. Andelmann) claim it is $$\nabla^2 \psi = ...
6
votes
3answers
81 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 ...
1
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3answers
74 views

How units were defined?

I was wondering how we humans can be sure that one meter is one meter and that one second is one second. Nowadays, except for the Kilogram, all other units are well defined using highly accurate ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Energy definition in special relativity

I'm going through the early homework assignments for my special relativity course and I've got myself a little confused about energy. I've got a basic understanding of what the 4-momentum is, having ...
-4
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3answers
73 views

Is there a unit system, where all physical laws looks nice?

And by nice looking law I mean with no constants. I mean, what would we need to set, so all laws would without those nasty constants in front of them? (I mean all of them, also $\pi$!) What would it ...
2
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1answer
42 views

Differences between 3 apples and 3 kg of apples according to base units

7 base units are defined in physics and other units are derived from these units. When we say "3 kg of apples", we mention its mass and mass is a base unit. But for "3 apples", what is its unit? Is ...
0
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1answer
77 views

Units kT = 1… why?

Why is it convenient to choose units kT=1? It came up in this paper: http://jfi.uchicago.edu/~leop/SciencePapers/scaling%20and%20universality%20in%20statistical%20physics.pdf in page 4, equation ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Why is charge not taken as a fundamental unit? [duplicate]

According to the definition of electric current, it appears to be a derived quantity. Charge on the other hand seems more fundamental than electric current. Then why is current taken as fundamental ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Simple units question (School) [closed]

A tank has 2000 litres of capacity (Ct). It fills at 5 l/s. It is filled with 800 l at time 0. a) How many seconds will it need to fill half the tank. So I did this: X = time. ...
-3
votes
1answer
47 views

Convert an angle

Can someone show me a formula in order to convert an angle from [V] to degree or rad? (i use aPotentiometer measuring steering angle) Edit: Well let me exlpain it. I photo of my experiment is shown ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Which charge value to use and Why [closed]

$1\mu C=10^{-6}C$ vs $e=1.60\times10^{-19}C$. I am having trouble understanding when to use for $q$, $10^{-6}C$ or $1.60\times10^{-19}C$. I had a problem where $a=Eq/m$. I don't know which value of a ...
0
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2answers
56 views

Calculating Pressure in CGS units

calculate pressure in CGS units using following data : $$ \mbox{Specific gravity of mercury},\gamma_{Hg}=13.6\\ \mbox{Density of water}, \rho=10^3{\rm kg/m^3}\\ \mbox{Gravity}, g=9.8{\rm m/s^2}\\ ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

convert units for spectral irradiance

How can I convert $$ W m^{-2} sr^{-1} nmm^{-1} $$ to $$ W m^{-2} nm^{-1} $$ I have the following matlab code to illustrate the spectral energy distribution of solar radiation: ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Power loss due to eddy currents

I am curious about estimating power losses due to eddy currents. Looking on Wikipedia I find an expression for power dissipation under limited circumstances, $$ P = \frac{\pi^2 B^2 d^2 f^2}{6k\rho D} ...
0
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1answer
67 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.
1
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3answers
139 views

Boltzmann constant--why units aren't joules per degree PER MOLECULE

I didn't think the information I looked at did a very good job of explaining the Boltzmann Constant, kB, but once I did this next simple calculation, it seemed clear that what I didn't understand were ...
3
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
70 views

Is there a conveniently small unit of volume for talking about molecules?

When discussing energy transformations on the molecular scale, we usually use electronvolts as the energy unit. This is handy because chemical bond energies are a few electronvolts in magnitude. I ...
11
votes
4answers
325 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Which is the most fundamental constant between the Planck constant $h$ and the reduced Planck constant $\hbar$?

This question is related to Planck units (also called natural units, absolute units or God's units). I'm wondering which constant is the most fundamental and should be normalized to 1. I would like as ...
0
votes
1answer
305 views

How to determine Young's modulus of a wire by Searle's method?

The question is: A student performs an experiment to determine the Young's modulus of a wire, exactly 2m long, by Searle's method. In a particular reading, the student measures the extension in ...
0
votes
2answers
229 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?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the symbol Å?

I saw this symbol like: $$\lambda=3000\overset{\circ}{\text{A}}$$ and I don't know what this means. Is it a frequency? (since $\lambda$ is usually used for frequency)
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Lattice pattern

I'm trying to find and outline a non-primitive conventional unit mesh, I'd also like to find any mirrors planes and rotional symmetry axes. I first thought it would be like this: , but I was told ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

How to pronounce $\textrm{eV}\!/c^2$

It seems that $\textrm{eV}\!/c^2$ (and its multiples) is commonly used as the unit of mass in particle physics. For example, David Griffiths uses it quite naturally in Introduction to Elementary ...
5
votes
3answers
372 views

Why didn't we replace our SI units with a better system? [closed]

Intro It seems to me that the SI units we use today are nothing but the result of a historical 'coincidence'. I recently began researching about natural (absolute) systems of units, which are ...
0
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2answers
47 views

Significant error conversion

So here is my question: Say we have measured something to be 15,67 mm and the significant error is $\pm 0,01$mm. then we convert the measurement to meter to be 0,01567m would the significant error ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Why is the Coulomb taken as the unit positve test charge, though $1 C$ charge is a high value? [closed]

Why is the Coulomb taken as the unit positve charge, though $1 C$ charge is a high value?
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Unit Conversion [closed]

I need to convert this expression $ 81752 \left( \frac{BTU}{in^2 h ºR} \right )$ to $ \left( \frac{Kg}{s^3 ºC} \right )$ Is my draft correct? $ 81752 \left( \frac{BTU}{in^2 h ºR} \right ) ...
7
votes
2answers
356 views

Why is the absolute zero a rational number in Celcius?

From the question "Why is the absolute zero -273.15?" I understood that 1°C is the 100th part of the difference of melting and boiling temperature of water (this is my high school physics, maybe there ...