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

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Why does the vacuum permeability have the value of $\pi$ in it?

The vacuum permeability, or the capability of the vacuum to permit magnetic field lines, contains the value of $\pi$. Why? What does this have to do with the ratio of a circle's circumference to its ...
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$c^4$ 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 ...
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How do Temperature Scales work?

How exactly do temperature scales work? If my understanding is correct, the Celsius scale has two fixed points: (definitions of temperature irrespective of scale) 1. The freezing point of pure water ...
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Conversion from natural units to SI

I got questions about converting units from natural system of units to SI. To be exact, I'm solving the problem in Heisenber interpretation of quantum mechanics, and I'm using Heisenberg equation of ...
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Relating milliampere-hours to watt-hours for batteries

I've seen many batteries that are measured in milliampere hours (mAh), while others are measured in watt hours (wh). How can I convert them between each other so that I can actually compare them? It's ...
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Why are significant figure rules in Multiplication/Division different than in Addition/Subtraction?

I've never understood specifically why this is. Here's what I mean. In Addition/Subtraction, what matters are the digits after the decimal point. So for example: 1.689 + 4.3 = ...
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Is it a problem that you can write the logarithm of a quantity with units? [duplicate]

While working out something in thermodynamics, I encountered an equation that had a term like $\log(n_1/n_2)$, where, $n_1$ and $n_2$ are the number densities. Now of course the argument of the $\log$ ...
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Definition of Sievert (Sv) unit - is it whole body mass?

I'm wondering about the definition of the Sievert (Sv) unit. It is J/Kg but is that Kg the mass of the whole body or just of the exposed body part? For instance, when a table says that an x-ray of a ...
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855 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 ...
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130 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 = ...
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Why is the change of temperature $\Delta T$ measured in Kelvins, degrees Celsius, etc.?

Let me start by apologizing if this question seems pedantic and say that I'm not very familiar with physics in general, as I'm a math major instead. Anyway, say a body changes from temperature $T_1$ ...
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Correct expression for D'Alembert operator in $c=1$ units

In QFT texts with $c=1$ units (most of them), D'Alembert operator is written as: $$\Box ={\partial^2 \over \partial t^2} - \nabla^2$$ For pedagogical purposes, however, some texts don't set $c=1$, ...
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Gravity and Planck scale

What is the connection between Planck's constant and gravity? Why is the Planck scale the natural scale for quantum gravity? I would have though the scale would be related to G, not h.
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127 views

Where is the missing gram unit in this expression for energy loss?

In the discussion of "Landau Straggling", the following expression comes up for the energy loss $\xi$ in Landau's original paper: $$\xi = x\frac{2\pi N e^4\varrho\sum Z}{mv^2\sum A}$$ Here $N$ is ...
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Units for physical constants

Someone told me that units for $G$ and $\epsilon_0$ (gravitational constant and Coulomb's constant) are placed there simply to make equations work dimensionally and that there is no real physical ...
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What are the units of these virial coefficients?

I'm reading some papers for calculating the vapor pressure of alkali metals as a function of temperature, and I've come across some familiar-looking virial expansions, but when I tried to work out the ...
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226 views

Curious relation between the dependance in ℏ of Planck units and units dimensions

Looking at Planck units, there seems to be a curious rule between the dependance in $\hbar$ of a Planck unit and the unit dimensions of the corresponding physical quantity. Let the dimensions of the ...
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Do we actually measure distances in light years?

The cosmic distance ladder has a wide range of length scales, which are quite difficult to measure and to conceptualize. These distances are commonly quoted, particularly in less technical articles, ...
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Units of acceleration & Newton's 2nd Law

I tried to use Newton's second law, $F=ma$, to calculate the acceleration of an object. \begin{align}\frac{F}{m}&=\frac{ma}{m} \\ a&=\frac{F}{m}=\frac{30\,\rm N}{1.2\,\rm ...
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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 ...
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385 views

Why was the conversion factor of the metric unit bar chosen the way it was?

The unit bar for pressure is clearly a metric unit, but its order of magnitude is a bit strange. In the centimeter–gram–second system of units we have: ...
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Help on unit conversion problem

This is a problem from school. I will show my attempt. The question: "The gas constant for dry air R is 287 $\frac{m^2}{s^2*K}$. Assuming the temperature is 330 K and the pressure is 1050 hPa, what ...
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Are there Planck units for weak or strong “charge”, similar to the electromagnetic Planck charge $\sqrt{4~\pi~\epsilon_0~\hbar~c}~$?

Are there Planck units for "charge" of weak or strong interaction, similar to the Planck unit of electromagnetic charge: $\sqrt{4~\pi~\epsilon_0~\hbar~c}$ ? Are there perhaps direct substitutes, ...
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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 ...
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What is electron density and its unit in plasma physics?

I can not find (through Google search engine) that what means electron density and what is its unit? and what is there relation between electron density and electrical conductivity?
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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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Why isn't $G=1$ as common as $c=\hbar=1$? [closed]

It is standard practice in theoretical physics to use a system of units in which $c=\hbar=1$. However, even though you could also set $G=1$, most physicists prefer not to. For example, in my cosmology ...
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216 views

When can two quantities be added together?

Whenever two things are to be added together, one typically needs to check whether this actually makes sense, and an addition is said to make sense, in principle, when the units match up. Yet, ...
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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 ...
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473 views

Checking units for equation with degree symbol

Using the following equation: $$ U = \left(\frac{B \times L \times \sin(\theta)}{C}\right)^{1/3} $$ I can calcukate the velocity of a flow traveling down a slope. I would like to check that the ...
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What does the $c$ in $eV/c^2$ stand for?

I have been wondering(also searching) for what does the $c$ in eV/$c^2$ stand for? (For example, mass of the electron is $0.511 \, \text{MeV}/c^2$.) I have read that this unit has been derived from ...
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Should I always include units at every step?

I've seen some controversy when solving physical equations on whether to put units all the time after I insert a numerical value to a variable with dimensions or to put the final unit at the last ...
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How do we deal with irrationals in Physics? [duplicate]

This question is really very basic: how do we deal with irrationals in Physics? If for instance, in some meaningful calculation we get a length of $\pi$ meters, or a force of $\pi$ Newtons, how should ...
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Units of vector differential operator del ($\nabla$)

My book says that $\left[\nabla \cdot (\vec E \times \vec H)\right] = \mathrm{W/m^3}$. I see that $\vec E$ is in $\mathrm{V/m}$ and $\vec H$ is $\mathrm{A/m}$, so these multiplied is $\mathrm{W/m^2}$, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Newton's Law of Graviation: Why $G$ and not e.g. $\dfrac{1}{4\pi G_0}$?

I've been wondering, in Coulomb's Law, $k_e = \dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}$. Therefore, why do we use $G$ in Newton's Law of Gravitation? What if the constant is more like Coulomb's Law, e.g. $G = ...
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Are circularly defined {velocity, distance, and time} a problem in physics?

In order to measure velocity, one needs a calibrated measuring stick and clock. But in order to calibrate a measuring stick you need a calibrated clock and velocity. And in order to calibrate a clock ...
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Why does physical quantity misinterpretation result in near-identical torque results?

I am going to use an equation $$\text{torque} = \frac{\text{power}\times 5252}{\text{RPM}}$$ derived on Wikipedia. Suppose that $\text{power} = 100\ \mathrm{hp}$ and $\text{RPM} = 5252\ \mathrm{rpm}$ ...
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Question about units of mass, $M = (L^{3})(T^{-2})$?

In section 5 of the "Preliminary: On the measurement of quantities" chapter (page 3) in "A treatise on electricity and magnetism" Maxwell uses, total length, $s=mt^{2}/{2r^{2}}$to show that ...
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Units and Dimensions - Use of proportionality constant

In units and dimensions we learn about Establishing a Formula : (example) : to establish a relationship between T (Time Period) , m (Mass) , l (length of the string) and g(acc. due to gravity) - ...
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657 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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Fundamental units

Is it right that all units in physics can be defined in terms of only mass, length and time? Why is it so? Is there some principle that explains it or is it just observational fact?
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Confused about unit of kilowatt hours

So I am a little confused on how to deal with the Kilowatt hours unit of power, I have only ever used Kilowatts and I have to design a residential fuel cell used as a backup generator for one day. ...
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What unit system does Fahrenheit belong to?

Wikipedia's page for Imperial Units does not list Fahrenheit. The corresponding page for SI Units lists Kelvin as an SI unit, and Celcius as a derived SI unit. This leads me to believe that ...
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2 dimensional Coulomb's law equation

We can notice that in the Coulomb's law equation, $$\begin{equation}\tag{1}F=\frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon}\cdot\frac{q_1q_2}{r^2}\end{equation} $$ $4\pi r^2$ factor in the denominator expresses directly ...
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Temperature in CGS (Gaussian) units

I've been struggling with conversion from Gaussian to SI units for sometime, trying to figure out how derived units in CGS (current, charge etc) relate to the SI units. But I couldn't find any ...
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What is the real interpretation of Planck's constant and what are its origins?

In the physics texts I have read and from other online information, I gather that Planck's constant is the quantum of action or that it is a constant specifying the ratio of the energy of a particle ...
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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} ...