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Name____________________________________Date____________________Period________________

Unit Conversion Notes
_____________________ ___________________ is a method of manipulating unit measures algebraically to
convert from one unit to another. The comparison of two unit quantities with different units is called a
_______________. (example: miles/hour) The ratio of two equal quantities, each measured in different units is
called a ____________________________ ________________________. (example: 1 cup = 8 ounces can also be
written as 1 cup/8 ounces). There is a whole list of conversion factors on your reference sheet at the top.
Ex. A. The mass of an object is 9.25 kg. What
is the mass of the object in grams?

9.25 kg
1

1,000 g
1 kg

=

9.25∗1,000
1∗1

= 9,250

g
Step 1: Find the conversion factor. (You are converting
from kilogrms to grams. There are 1,000 grams per

1,000 g
1 kg

kilogram, or

1,000 g
1 kg

. So, the conversion factor is

Ex. B. A truck is traveling at 70 miles per
hour. How many feet per second is the truck
traveling?

70 miles
1 hour

5,280 ft
1mile
369,600
3,600

=

1 hour
60 min

= 102.6

1 min
60 sec

feet
sec

Step 1: Identify the conversions in the problem. (There
are two conversions: between miles and feet and
between hours and seconds.)

.)

Step 2: Find the conversion factor between miles and

Step 2: Use dimensional analysis. (Multiply the number
of kilograms by the conversion factor. Simplify the
expression and cancel units as required.)

feet. (There are 5,280 feet in a mile, or

5,280 ft
1mile

)

Step 3: Find the conversion factor between hours and
seconds. (There are 60

¿

60, or 3,600 seconds in an

hour. The answer must be in feet per second, so seconds
must be in the denominator. The conversion factor is

1hr
3,600 sec

Steps for converting units:
1.

2.

(unless it is a rate, then
put part of the unit on
top and part of it on the
bottom of a fraction bar).
Decide which conversion
factor you need off your
reference sheet and put
it in fraction form
multiplied with your
original unit.
a. To decide which
part of the
conversion factor
should be on top
of the fraction
and which should
be on the
bottom, you
need to decide
what you are
trying to cancel.

.

Example 1:
1. The road between two towns is 2,808 yards long. How long is the road
in miles?

_____________

______________ = ______________ =

Example 2:
Convert 7500 seconds to hours. (Round to nearest tenth.)

_____________

______________ ______________=___________=

b.

3.

4.
5.
6.

To get a unit to
cancel, there
must be one on
top and one on
bottom.
Continue this trend until
you have canceled
everything except the
unit you want.
Multiply across the top
Multiply across the
bottom
Divide

Example 3:
A large adult male human has about 12 pints of blood. Convert this
quantity to gallons.

_____________

______________ ______________=___________=
p. 2

Example 4:
Convert 3 feet to meters. (Round to nearest tenth.)
Note: Sometimes you have
knowledge of conversion
factors such as minutes to
seconds, and feet to inches.

_____________

Reference Sheet

Example 5:
Convert 4 inches to yards. (Round to the nearest tenth.)

1 inch (in) = 2.54
centimeters (cm)
1 meter (m) = 39.37
inches (in)
1 mile = 5,280 feet (ft)
1 mile = 1,760 yards (yds)
1 mile = 1.609 kilomters
(km)
1 kilomter (km) = 0.62
mile
1 pound (lb) = 16 ounces
(oz)
1 pound (lb) = 0.454
kilograms (kg)
1 kilogram (kg) = 2.2
pounds (lb)
1 ton = 2,000 pounds (lb)
1 cup (c) = ______fluid
ounces (fl oz)
1 pint (pt) = ______ cups (c)
1 quart (qt) = ______ pints
(pt)
1 gallon (gal) =
______quarts (qt)

_____________

______________ ______________=___________=

______________ ______________=___________=

Example 6:
Convert 4,500 kilograms to pounds.

______________ ______________=

Example 7:
The length of a building is 720 inches. Convert this quantity to yards.

1 gallon (gal) = 3.785
liters (L)
1 liter (L) = 0.264 gallons
(gal)
1 liter (L) = 1000 cubic
centimeters

Now let’s try converting a rate
Example 8:
If you travel 105 kilometers in 4.2 hours, what is your speed in miles per minute?

Example 9:
A jet is traveling 0.2225 miles per second. How many meters per minute is the jet traveling?

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Metric conversions follow their own pattern of 10’s.
We can relate these to every day words to help us remember since they aren’t on your
reference sheet:
1,000 millimeters (mm) = 1
meter (m)
**This also holds true for anything that begins with these prefixes (grams, Liters, etc.)
100
centimeters
(cm) = 1
There are more, but these are the most common ones you will see.
meter
Example 10:
How many liters of water are in 75 mL?

Example 11:
Convert 0.2 miles per minute to meters per second.

Example 12:
Convert 89 milliliters to quarts.

Example 13:
Water flows from a faucet at the rate of 65 milliliters per second. How many liters of water per minute flow
from the faucet?

Example 14:
How many grams are in 7.45 kilograms?

Comparing Units or Rates

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When comparing units or rates, you must get them in equivalent forms before
deciding which is greater.
Example 15:
A box of books has a mass of 4.10 kilograms for every meter of its height. A box of magazines has a mass
of 3 pounds for every foot of its height. Which box has a greater mass per unit of height? (Round to nearest
tenth.)_________________________________

Example 16:
Alan’s go-kart travels 1750 feet per minute, and Barry’s go-kart travels 21 miles per hour. Whose go-kart
travels faster?___________ (Round to nearest tenth.)

Example 17:
What is greater? 1 meter or 25 cm?________________________

Example 18:
Daniel runs for 3800 seconds and Sarah runs for 1 hour. Who ran for a longer period of time?
_____________________

To determine appropriate units for something, you may need to convert
unknown units into a unit you recognize and decide if it makes sense for the
problem. (Common sense will help too! )
Example 19:

A. If you want to measure the length of a boat, what unit would you use?
miles,
km
B. What is a good estimate for the width of a paperclip?
1 inch

1 km,

C. How tall is a 100 story tall building?
1000 ft

250 ft,

100 ft,

cm,
1 mile,
500 ft,

feet,
10 meters,
750 ft,

D. What is a more appropriate unit to measure the volume of a bathtub full of water?
ounces,
cups,
pints,
gallons
Name: ____________________________________Date: ______________________Period_____________ p. 5
Unit Conversions: Homework and Practice
Use dimensional analysis to convert the measurements
1. Convert 8 milliliters to fluid ounces.

2. Convert 12 kilograms to pounds.

3. Convert 950 US dollars to British pound sterling. (Use 1 US dollar = 0.62 British pound sterling.)

4. The dwarf sea horse “Hippocampus zosterae” swims at a rate of 52.68 feet per hour. Convert this
speed to inches per minute.

5. Tortoise A walks 52.0 feet per hour and tortoise B walks 12 inches per minute. Which tortoise travels
faster?_________________

6. The pitcher for the Robins throws a baseball at 90.0 miles per hour. The pitcher for the Bluebirds throws
a baseball 121 feet per second. Which pitcher throws a baseball faster?
____________________________________________

7. For a science experiment Marcia dissolved 10 kilogram of salt in 3.0 liters of water. For a different
experiment, Bobby dissolved 2.0 pounds of salt in 7.0 pints of water. Which person made a more
concentrated salt solution?______________________________

p. 6
8. Will a stand that can hold up to 40 pounds support a 21-kilogram television?
___________________________________________

9. How do you know which way to set up a conversion factor fraction when you are doing dimensional
analysis?

10. Which is a better estimate for the volume of a plastic cup?
3 gallons

11 fluid ounces,

11. Which is a more appropriate unit to measure the height of a bus?
feet

Centimeters,

8 pints,

inches,

12. What units are best for measuring the distance of a road from one end of a city to the other?
Meters,
feet,
kilometers
13. What is a better estimate for the weight of a car?

14.

A.

Which dimensional analysis expression converts

32 miles
hour

5,280 ft
1 mile

C.

3000 ounces,

60 min
1 hour

32 miles
hour

1mile
5,280 ft

1mile
5,280 ft

5,280 ft
1mile
60 min
1 hour

1 hour
60 min

1 min
60 sec

500 pounds,

32 mi
hr

1.5 tons

to

ft
sec

B.

32 miles
hour

?

60 sec
1 min

1 hour
60 min

1 min
60 sec

D.

32 miles
hour

60 sec
1 min

15. Fill in the following blanks with conversion factors from the box below to correctly convert
450000 milligrams to kilograms
(There is no need to actually solve the problem, just set it up.)
1000 milligrams = 1 gram
1000 grams = 1 kilogram

45000 mg
∙ ∙ =¿
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