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Nomenclature, Symbols and Units
The following table contains the description of symbols used in the Engineering Science
Formula sheet below. The symbols are listed in the order that they appear on that sheet,
complete with the standard SI units. The formulae work if these units are used. It should be
noted that some quantities are commonly quoted with the relevant prefix, for example, Youngs
modulus will have a value of GPa (ie. Pa x 10
9
) or capacitance as pF (ie. F x 10
12
) obviously
you will have to put in the relevant tens to convert to the standard before using a formula. You
may also find that strain, , is quoted with units of microstrain (). This is to save the trouble
of using too many zeros and is a shorthand eg. 50 is 50 x 10
6
.
Symbol Description SI Standard Units
Mechanical Systems
I second moment of area m
4
A area m
2
M bending moment Nm
stress N/m
2
or Pa
y distance from neutral axis m
E Youngs modulus or modulus of elasticity N/m
2
or Pa
R radius of curvature m
T torsion Nm
J polar second moment of area m
4
shear stress N/m
2
or Pa
r radius m
G modulus of rigidity or shear modulus N/m
2
or Pa
angle of twist rad
l length m
F force N
strain dimensionless
x extension m
S linear distance around edge of a sector of circle m
R radius m
angular velocity rad/s
a linear acceleration m/s
2
angular acceleration rad/s
2
Useful Formulae, SI Symbols and Units
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Symbol Description SI Standard Units
Electrical Systems
v instantaneous voltage V
V voltage V
angular velocity rad.s
t time s
 phase angle rad
f frequency cycles/s or Hz
C capacitance F
I current A
L inductance H
X reactance
R resistance
f
0
resonant frequency cycles/s or Hz
Q voltage magnification factor dimensionless
Z impedance
p
f
power factor dimensionless
ENGINEERING SCIENCE FORMULA SHEET
Engineers Theory of Bending:
R
E
y I
M
= =
o
where I is the second moment of area of the
beam cross section about the neutral axis, that is about an axis through its centroid
Engineers Theory of Torsion:
l
G
r J
T u t
= = where
32
4
d
J
t
= for a solid shaft
Stress and Strain:
A
F
= o ,
l
x
= c ,
c
o
= E
Radian measure and transform equations:
R
S
= u so u R S = . The remaining transform
equations linking V and , a and may be derived by successively dividing both sides by t
Single Phase AC Theory: ) (  e = t Sin V v
MAX
for sinusoidal waveforms where f t t e 2 =
C for Capacitance
I current is in front of Voltage (I leads V)
V voltage
I current is after Voltage (I lags V)
L for inductance
In series circuits I is used as the reference phasor, since current is the same around the
circuit
In parallel circuits V is the reference, since voltage is the same across the parallel elements.
Useful Formulae, SI Symbols and Units
Page 3 of 3 pages
Inductive reactance: fL L X
L
t e 2 = =
Capacitive reactance,
fC C
X
C
t e 2
1 1
= =
2
PEAK
RMS
V
V = and
PEAK AVERAGE
V V = 636 . 0 for sinusoidal waveforms
Resonance:
Series R, L, C circuits and parallel R, L, C circuits:
LC
f
fC
fL X X
O C L
t
t
t
2
1
2
1
2 = = = =
Parallel (R + L) and C circuits:


.

\

=
2
2
1
2
1
L
R
LC
f
O
t
QFactor, or Voltage Magnification Factor:
RC f R
L f
V
V
V
V
Q
O
O C L
t
t
2
1 2
= = = =
Dynamic Resistance:
RC
L
R
D
=
Bandwidth:
Q
f
f f
0
1 2
) ( =
Complex form for singlephase a.c. circuits:
Series circuits Circuit impedance is given by: jX R Z =
Parallel circuits Circuit impedance is given by:
X
j
R Z
1 1 1
=
Power Factor:  Cos
Z
R
VI
R I
Power Apparent
Power True
p
f
= = = =
2
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