Las Positas College Vacuum Technology 60A & 60BPage 6 Rights Reserved, Biltoft, Benapfl, and Swain Fall 2002
Chapter 1: Basic Skills
In this chapter we hope to present a review of basic skills in the areas of mathematics,unit conversions, use of the metric system, an introduction to the physical nature of matter, measurement techniques, and techniques for the presentation of data. At theend of each section we will include a bibliography for those of you wishing to exploreany of these areas more fully.
REVIEW of MATHEMATICS
Physical measurements you will perform will require accurate recording, calculation, andreporting of numbers. Numbers that we will use may be broken down into threecategories: integers, real numbers, and rational numbers. We will use the symbols x, /or ÷, +, and - to denote the mathematical functions multiply, divide, add, and subtract.
: whole numbers, either positive or negative
3, -7, 1,000,000
also called decimal numbers
5.4, 0.001, -12.34
: numbers expressed as a ratio of two numbers
2/3, 1/10 and -1/2.
: addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (x), division(
: Just as the name suggests, equations are mathematical statements inwhich the equality of two statements is expressed:
x 5 = 15.7 is a mathematical equation which reads
Pi multiplied by five isequal to fifteen point seven (or fifteen and seven tenths)
: Often we do not know the values for all of the expressions in an equation, sowe substitute letters or symbols in place of the numbers. Variables are also used in thewriting of generic equations (formulas) into which numbers are substituted later.
the circumference of a circle C having diameter D is givenby the equation:
In this example,
is a variable and can have any positive value.When variable are not separated by an operator, it is assumed tobe multiplication.