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# Questions tagged [si-units]

A set of internationally accepted units to aid in communication of measurements.

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### Why is the ampere a base unit and not the coulomb?

I always thought of current as the time derivative of charge, $\frac{dq}{dt}$. However, I found out recently that it is the ampere that is the base unit and not the coulomb. Why is this? It seems to ...
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### Is there a name for a quantity that represents (volumetric) flow per unit of mass?

In a lot of medical literature about blood flow in the brain, researchers denote the amount of volumetric blood flow that passes through a certain amount of brain tissue as "cerebral blood flow". ...
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### The units of gain and number of atoms in population inversion in a laser

I am following my university course notes on amplification in laser media, and have come across expressions for the gain of a medium, but the notes are not exactly rigorous... The expression given for ...
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### Why does the metric system use “kilogram” as a base SI unit?

SI system uses all (that I know) measurement basic units as 1 (single) instance: meter, second, ampere, etc, except the KILOgram. It already defined with 1000 multiplier (kilo). It prevents from ...
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### Zero uncertainty constant and a unit change

So, we know the speed of light with zero uncertainty. We also know that values of $\epsilon_0$ (electric constant) and $\mu_0$ (magnetic constant) are known with zero uncertainty. My questions are ...
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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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### What Physical Quantity has SI Unit $kg \cdot m$,? [duplicate]

What is the physical quantity that has SI (System International) unit of $kg \cdot m$ (kilogram meters)?
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### How do I obtain a sense of scale when thinking about webers?

This Wikipedia article provides a wonderful way to fathom the scale of the tesla. I cannot seem to find a similar set of examples about magnetic flux. I know that the milli-, micro- and nanoweber are ...
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### $E^2 = (mc^2)^2 + (pc)^2$: What units are used to measure $E$, $m$, $c$ and $p$?

\begin{equation} E^2 = (mc^2)^2 + (pc)^2 \end{equation} If I am using this equation to figure out the energy of something, what units would I use? Would it be the metric system? I.e. kilograms ...
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### SI units with more than one prefix in fractions

Is it (in the view of SI) correct to note units with more then one prefix? I discuss this since several months with friends, but we could not find a proper source for our statements yet. Examples for ...
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### Why the kilogram is not defined? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do we still not have an exact definition for a kilogram? I was thinking about SI units. I found the following definition for the base units: Meter: distance covered by ...
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### The origin of femto, atto and zepto SI prefixes

Do you know why the SI prefixes: femto, atto, zepto have been accepted by Scientific Community, if this triad of metric units, is neither greek nor latin?
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### There are plans to develop a better definition of a “second”. How does the current definition fall short?

The current definition of a second is stated here and I found a presentation on the BIPM site which discusses plans to change to a "better" definition of a second. You can find the presentation here. ...
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### Can you use PCR to make a standard kg?

While reading this question: Why do we still not have an exact (constants-based) definition for a kilogram? , I had a crazy thought. Using PCR, you make a known number of copies of a DNA strand where ...
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### Why do we still not have an exact (constants-based) definition for a kilogram?

I read that there is an effort to define a kilogram in terms that can exactly be reproduced in a lab. Why has it taken so long to get this done? It would seem this should be fairly important. Edit: ...
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### Relation between Newtons and Kilograms

Work is expressed as $W=Fd$, where the $F$ is in Newton, $d$ is in meters and result $W$ is in Joules. For example, if I take $1N$ on earth and lift it $1m$ up in the air I have done $1J$ of work. ...
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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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### What is a “measure equation” as mentioned by this TeX Users Group guide?

In this TeX Users Group (TUG) document, Typesetting mathematics for science and technology according to ISO 31/XI by Claudio Beccari, the author makes various typesetting recommendations including: ...
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### units of measure

This question is rather historical one. kilometres can be defined in metres, metres in centimetres, centimetres in millimetres. There must be some elementary unit (like millimetre or smth.) which ...
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### what is an inverse femto barn?

I came across the use of the unit barn and inverse barn while reading about the operation of LHC. What is an inverse femtobarn ? What does it tell about the experiment being described ?
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### How large is the information collected from an inverse femtobarn of collisions?

I ran into this while looking at measures of humongous amounts of data. How does the information (data) collected in an inverse femtobarn exposure compare to a gigabyte of data ?
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### Whats the range of dimension exponents in the SI Units system?

I am working on a software library for Units of Measure. To represent dimensions, I need to know the required range of exponents for each of the seven base units (precisely, I need to know the ...
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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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### What is “International Service of Weights and Measures”?

In the Resolution 2 of the 3rd meeting of the CGPM, defining the kilogram, “the International Service of Weights and Measures” is mentioned (the French original text reads “le Service international ...
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### Help getting the distance an object has moved

What is a distance an object went through at the speed of 14hm/min for 6 hours? I am having problems with conversions. First, I tried passing 14hm/min to m/s. I did it alright. But now I am unsure. ...
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### Why does $E=mc^2$ give results in Joules?

Why does $E=mc^2$ give results in Joules ? Why didn't Einstein need to create a separate unit and how come using two standard units (speed of light in km.s and mass in grams) give another result in ...
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### How to write units?

In a scientific article, should I write "3m", "3 m", "3 meters", or "3 [meters]" ?
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### what does 'same energy as a ton of TNT' mean?

Very often the energy released in large-scale events (e.g., earthquakes, meteor impacts, etc) is described in terms of some number of 'tons of TNT'. This may be all well and good for those with an ...
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### gauss vs mW/cm^2: same thing?

A friend of mine is concerned about electromagnetic field negatively affecting their health and got a "DMF meter" to measure the field strength in their house in units of milliGauss. They are trying ...
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### Coulomb force in SI and cgs

Coulomb force in SI is $F = \frac{Q1*Q2}{4\pi\varepsilon R^{2}}$ while in CGS $F = \frac{Q1*Q2}{R^{2}}$ why is it? I mean doesn't it any make difference in dimension? since $\varepsilon$ ...
Gravitational attraction is given by $\frac{GMm}{r^2}$ while attraction due to electric charge is given by $\frac{q_1 q_2}{r^2}$. Why does gravity need a constant while electric charge doesn't? ...
Do someone knows the units of the spectra provided here ? It seems obvious enough that it's said nowhere, but even Wikipedia and other sites are quite blurry on this point. So, is it power ($W$), ...