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

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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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3k views

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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126 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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217 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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103 views

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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104 views

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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332 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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399 views

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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233 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 ...
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2k views

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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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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46 views

Why is an Ampere an SI unit? [duplicate]

It has always annoyed me that an Ampere is an SI unit, rather than a Coulomb. Why is this the case? Was current discovered first historically? I believe that the standards were published in the 1960s, ...
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121 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 ...
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405 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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131 views

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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66 views

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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Centripetal acceleration units

I perform some basic calculation for circular motion. Formulas we get from school are: $v$ - Linear speed with the units m/s $r$ - Radius of curve in meters $\omega$ - Angular speed with the units ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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191 views

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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604 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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885 views

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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105 views

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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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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175 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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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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What really generates time evolution?

A fundamental principle of quantum mechanics, as far as I can tell, states that the Hamiltonian generates time evolution. A common result about generators are the following: let $\mathrm T$ be the ...
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152 views

Spectral irradiance units conversion

I have a table of data containing irradiance of light at different wavelengths. This is how it looks like for 300.5 nm: Wavelength, nm: 300.5 Wavelength, $\mu$m: 0.3005 W/m$^2$/$\mu$m: 403 ...
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Units of Hubble Time and Hubble Constant?

When we have Hubble constant and it's inverse Hubble Time (1/H) what units are they measured in? I know Hubble constant is in "km/s per Mpc" but is there any other units which are popular used with ...
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Is dimensional analysis always sufficient to establish equivalence of quantities?

In dealing with the Biot-Savart law, it was argued that $$ q\frac{d\vec{s}}{dt}\equiv Id\vec{s} $$ using the fact that the units are equal. Does this kind of argument always work? It seems too ...
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381 views

What is a proportionality constant? (Planck's constant)

I understand that Planck's constant is essentially the ratio between the energy of a photon and its frequency. There are 2 things that im trying to verify: isn't the number that Planck's constant ...
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202 views

Why are cgs units the norm in astrophysics?

Other physics communities, e.g. the particle physics one, have their own set of units, custom-tailored to their own needs. Now, the astrophysics community is somewhat similar, in that a lot of ...
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Understanding units manipulation (speed of falling coconut after 20m)

When I was on holidays, I was told a story about how someone passing under a palmtree and almost got a coconut fall on his head. Given that these palmtrees where about $20m$ high, we wondered at what ...
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478 views

If we are using [eV] as a unit for energy, what, then, should the unit for mass and distance be?

This seems obvious but it is confusing since I know that in MKS (i.e. SI) system, we use Joule with Meter with KG. But if we're using electron volt (1.6e-19 J) for energy, should we change the mass ...
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832 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 ...
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Force and Natural Units

Today in my Physics lecture I suddenly thought of something. We all know that gravitational force is proportional to the two masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between ...
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How to choose the right units to compute the phase space volume in classical statistical mechanics?

Without the natural unit $\hbar$, why doesn't it seem to be a problem for Statistical Physics to define $$S=k_B\ log(\Omega)\ ?$$ If $\Omega$ is given in one unit system and I switch to other units ...
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What is the difference between unit and dimensions?

If I say Height of a block = 2m, then would "Height" be called as a dimension
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Special relativity and missing factors of $c$

I am doing problems in a textbook called 'Introduction to Classical Mechanics' by David Morin. In one of the questions it says the following: In the lab frame, two particles move with speed $v$ ...
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371 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 ...