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

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Maxwell's Equations: Induction

What is the reason for some writing Faraday's Induction Law as $$ \nabla \times E= -\frac{1}{c}\frac{\partial B}{\partial t} $$ versus $$ \nabla \times E= -\frac{\partial B}{\partial t} ?$$
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Base quantities and charges

Is there an unit of color charge? I haven't found it, so I suppose that it doesn't exist, if this is right, why? Isn't it supposed that every measurable quantity can be expressed in terms of base ...
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CGS Units for Magnetism

Why does the formula for magnetic field force include the speed of light in the denominator in cgs units? Where does the extra $c$ go in SI units?
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Do the trigonometric functions preserve units?

I saw an exercise where you had to calculate the units of $C_i, i=1,2$ from an equation like this: $v^2=2\cdot C_1x$ and $x=C_1\cdot \cos(C_2\cdot t)$ where $x$ means meters, $t$ means seconds ...
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Why do the formulas for planck's units use h instead of hbar?

On the Answers.com page on Planck length, I see two almost-same formulas for the Planck length that differ only by the use of h and hbar. However, the constants are the same, and my calculator gives ...
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Are ergs commonly used in astrophysics? If so, is there a specific reason for it?

I was reading the recent LIGO paper and one passage stuck out to me: The system reached a peak gravitational-wave luminosity of $3.6^{+0.5}_{−0.4}× 10^{56}\:\mathrm{erg/s}$, equivalent to ...
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Units of eigenvectors

Consider for example a mass matrix $M$, $\lambda$ one eigenvalue and $X$ a corresponding eigenvector. Then $[M]=\text{mass}$ (the brackets indicate the "unit operator"), and $MX=\lambda X$ so ...
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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: ...
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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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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: ...
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What widely recognized organizations set standards used by physics?

I recently answered a question about the meaning of the word "dimension" as used in physics. In that response, I provided the definition given in the International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM) and ...
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107 views

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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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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119 views

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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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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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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How to read this length interval in imperial units?

I am from Europe and I do some research for my thesis. I found this picture, which is very usefull for me, but unfortunately the lengths are in imperial units (for lenght they are using something like ...
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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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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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What are the units pm/K?

I can only think of picometres, but it doesn't seem to make sense. Here is the context, from the paper 'Towards Reproducible Ring Resonator Based Temperature Sensors', Klimov et al., Sensors & ...
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167 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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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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414 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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449 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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Definition of atmosphere unit and relation to temperature and gravity

I've seem sometimes the atmosphere unit for pressure be defined so that $1\ \mathrm{atm}$ would be the mean atmospheric pressure at sea level. I've seem on the other hand the following definition: ...
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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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Is meters per second equivalent to seconds per meter?

I know this question is probably ridiculous, but bear with me for a moment. This thought emerged while I was converting between nm and wave numbers ($\rm cm^{-1}$). In order to prove this conversion, ...
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Arguing on dimensions of logarithms and exponentials [duplicate]

Suppose you have some physical quantity $x$ of dimension $l$. We all know that the dimension of $x^2$, for example, will be $l^2$, and that of $\dfrac{1}{x}$ is $l^{-1}$. However, what will be the ...
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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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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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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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Why do we need constants? [closed]

This question is driving me crazy because I cannot find a straightforward answer. I want to know what a physical constant exactly is. I know that it’s a value that doesn’t change, but what is it? Why ...
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496 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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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 ...