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unit system marks the beginning of a series of events that eventually lead to the currently accepted International System of Units. The great German mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss(1777-1855) was the first to promote the idea of combining metric units with the second to form a complete and consistent unit system for mechanics. With the help of the German physicist Wilhelm Weber (1804-1891), he was able to extend this concept to include the units for electricity and magnetism. What came to be known as the Gaussian System of Units arose from this proposal. Its organization served as a model for the International System. The International System of Units (called Le Système International d'Unités in French and abbreviated as SI by international convention) arose during the Eleventh General Conference of Weights and Measures (Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures or CGPM) conducted by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (Bureau International Des Poids et Mesuresor BIPM) in Paris in 1960. The SI model has three major components. 1. Seven well-defined, dimensionally independent, fundamental units (or base units) that are assumed irreducible by convention (meter, kilogram, second, ampère, kelvin, mole, and candela). 2. A large number of derived units formed by combining fundamental units according to the algebraic relations of the corresponding quantities (some of which are assigned special names and symbols and which themselves can be further combined to form even more derived units). o The derived units are coherent in the sense that they are all mutually related only by the rules of multiplication and division with no numerical factor other than 1 needed. o The derived units are also complete in the sense that one and only one unit exists for every defined physical quantity. Although it is possible to express many units in more than one way, they are all equivalent. (The converse statement is not necessarily true, however. Some units are used for more than one physical quantity.) 3. Twenty currently agreed upon prefixes that can be attached to any of the fundamental units or derived units with special names creating multiples and division as needed. (The exception to this rule is the kilogram, which is already itself a multiple of the gram. In this case, prefixes should be added to the word gram.) 1 2 3 o The first three named multiples are the first three powers of ten (10 , 10 , 10 ). Subsequent named multiples are larger than the previous named multiple by three orders of magnitude (106, 109, 10 12, … ). −1 −2 −3 o The first three named divisions are the first three negative powers of ten (10 , 10 , 10 ). Subsequent named divisions are smaller than the previous named division by three orders of magnitude (10−6, 10 −9, 10 −12, … ). Fundamental Units While it is possible for many units to serve as the fundamental building blocks of a system, the following seven were chosen for historical and practical reasons to serve as the fundamental units of the International System of Units. The meter is the fundamental unit of length in the International System of Units. It was originally defined in 1799 as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the north-pole as measured on a line of longitude passing through Paris. From 1960 to 1983, the meter was defined as the length equal to 1,650,763.73 wavelengths in vacuum of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the levels 2p10 and 5d5 of the krypton 86 atom. After 1983, the definition was changed so that the meter [m] became the length of the path traveled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.

if maintained in two straight parallel conductors of infinite length. commonly referred to as an atomic clock.792. The SI unit of luminous intensity is the candela [cd]. (1967) electric current ampère thermodynamic kelvin temperature amount of substance mole The mole is the amount of substance of a system which contains as many mol elementary entities as there are atoms in 0. it is equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram.) The kilogram was originally defined in 1799 as the mass of one liter (one thousand cubic centimeters) of pure liquid water at 0 ℃. (1971) The candela is the luminous intensity. of negligible circular cross-section.012 kilogram of carbon 12. (1948) K The kelvin. unit of thermodynamic temperature. in a given direction.16 of the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point of water. (1967) The ampère is that constant current which. I suspect.770 periods of the radiation s corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom. would produce between these conductors a force equal to 2 × 10−7newton per meter of length. electrons.458 of a second. molecules. A and placed one meter apart in vacuum. but it is the kilogram (one thousand grams) that plays this role in the International System. is the fraction 1/273. other particles or specified groups of such particles. the elementary entities must be specified and may be atoms. The SI unit of amount of substance is the mole [mol]. of a source that cd emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 × 1012 hertz and that has a radiant intensity in that direction of 1/683 watt per steradian. A cesium oscillator. (A gram was deemed too small to be of much practical use. Accuracy of 1 part in 1014 are routinely achieved. is a device that counts the hyperfine transitions made by a collection of cesium atoms. Base units of the International System quantity length unit meter m definition (date adopted) The meter is the length of the path traveled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299. The SI unit of electric current is the ampère [A] The SI unit of thermodynamic temperature is the kelvin [K]. (1889) mass kilogram kg time second The second is the duration of 9.631. (1979) luminous intensity candela . When the mole is used. ions. (1983) The kilogram is the unit of mass.192.The gram was the fundamental unit of mass in the metric system.

they are all equivalent. stress energy. work. angular frequency (radian per second). becquerel (decays per second) J/kg is used in radiology for absorbed dose (gray) and equivalent dose (sievert) Derived units of the International System with special names in terms of … quantity plane angle solid angle frequency force pressure. however.Derived units A large number of derived units formed by combining base units according to the algebraic relations of the corresponding quantities (some of which are assigned special names and symbols and which themselves can be further combined to form even more derived units). The derived units are also complete in the sense that one and only one unit exists for every defined physical quantity. N m is used for energy (where it is called a joule) and torque −1 s is used for frequency (hertz). heat flow electric charge electric potential capacitance resistance conductance magnetic flux name radian steradian hertz newton pascal joule watt coulomb volt farad ohm siemens weber symbol other units rad sr Hz N Pa J W C V F Ω S Wb W/A C/V V/A A/V Vs N/m2 Nm J/s base units m m−1 m2 m−2 s−1 m kg s−2 m−1 kg s−2 m2 kg s−2 m2 kg s−3 sA m2 kg s−3 A−1 m−2 kg−1 s4 A2 m2 kg s−3 A−2 m−2 kg−1 s3 A2 m2 kg s−2 A−1 . The derived units are coherent in the sense that they are all mutually related only by the rules of multiplication and division with no numerical factor other than 1 needed. heat power. Although it is possible to express many units in more than one way. Some units are used for more than one physical quantity. The converse statement is not necessarily true.

nanos) small (piccolo ) fifteen (femten) eighteen (atten) 1000−4 1000−5 1000−6 pico p italian: femto f dutch*: atto a dutch*: .magnetic flux density inductance celsius temperature luminous flux illuminance radioactivity absorbed dose equivalent dose catalytic activity tesla henry degree celsius lumen lux becquerel gray sievert katal T H ℃ lm lx Bq Gy Sv kat Wb/m2 Wb/A kg s−2 A−1 m2 kg s−2 A−2 K cd sr lm/m2 m2 m−2 cd m−2 cd s−1 J/kg J/kg m2 s−2 m2 s−2 s−1 mol Divisions of the International System factor 10−1 10−2 10−3 prefix deci centi symbol d c linguistic origin latin: ten (decem) latin: hundred (centum) thousand (mille) 1000−1 milli m latin: 10 −6 micro µ small greek: (μικρός mikros) greek: 1000−2 10−9 10−12 10−15 10−18 nano n dwarf (νάνος 1000−3 .

khilia) 10001 greek: big (μεγάλος .ekato ) greek: thousand (χίλια .exi) latin: seven (septem) latin: eight (octo) greek: nine (εννέα .10−21 10−24 10−27 10−30 zepto yocto xenno † weko† z y x latin: seven (septem) 1000−7 1000−8 latin: eight (octo) greek: nine (εννέα 1000−9 ennea ) ten (δέκα deka) 1000−10 w greek: 10 −33 vendeko † v eleven greek: (ένδεκα endeka) ???? * also norwegian 1000−11 1000−12 10−36 † ???? u unofficial Multiples of the International System factor 101 102 103 106 109 1012 1015 1018 1021 1024 1027 1030 prefix deca hecto kilo mega giga tera peta exa zetta yotta xenna† weka† symbol da h k M G T P E Z Y X W linguistic origin greek: ten (δέκα .deka) greek: hundred (εκατό .gigas) 10003 greek: four (τέταρτος .deka) 10005 10006 10007 10008 10009 100010 .pente) greek: six (έξι .tetratos) 10004 greek: five (πέντε .ennea) greek: ten (δέκα .megalos) 10002 greek: giant (γίγας .

66053873(13) × 10−27 kg 1. Acceptable non-SI units defined in terms of SI units quantity time time time plane angle plane angle plane angle volume mass power level difference power level difference unit minute hour day degree minute second liter metric ton (tonne) neper bel min h d ° ' " l t Np B definition 60 s 3600 s 86. traditional.400 s (π/180) rad (π/10.49597870691(6) × 1011 m .endeka) 100011 ???? 100012 unofficial Additional units Other scientific. and practical units and unit systems are still in use and are still useful.602176462(63) × 10−19 J 1.001 m3 1000 kg 1 W/W (0.1033 1036 vendeka† ???? † V U greek: eleven (ένδεκα .800) rad (π/648.5 ln 10) Np Acceptable non-SI units defined experimentally quantity energy mass distance unit electron volt atomic mass unit astronomical unit eV u ua definition 1.000) rad 0.

01 Sv .01 Gy 0.Acceptable non-SI units subject to review quantity distance velocity area pressure distance area radioactivity exposure absorbed dose equivalent dose units named after people Derived units of the International System named after scientists unit ångström becquerel bel coulomb curie degree celsius farad gray henry Å Bq B C Ci ℃ F Gy H Anders Ångström Henri Becquerel Alexander Bell Charles Coulomb Marie Curie Anders Celsius Michael Faraday Louis Gray Joseph Henry scientist (1814-1874) (1852-1908) (1847-1922) (1736-1806) (1867-1934) (1701-1744) (1791-1867) (1905-1965) (1797-1878) Sweden France Scotland France Poland Sweden England England USA quantity distance radioactivity power level electric charge radioactivity celsius temperature capacitance absorbed dose inductance unit nautical mile knot are bar ångström barn curie roentgen rad rem kn a bar Å b Ci R rad rem definition 1852 m (1852/3600) m/s 100 m2 100 kPa 10−10 m 100 fm2 37 GBq 258 μC/kg 0.

a. heat temperature power level force resistance pressure. work.hertz joule kelvin neper newton ohm pascal roentgen siemens sievert tesla volt watt weber Hz J K Np N Ω Pa R S Sv T V W Wb Heinrich Hertz James Joule William Thomson* Jhone Neper** Isaac Newton Georg Ohm Blaise Pascal Wilhelm Röntgen Werner Siemens Rolf Sievert Nikola Tesla Alessandro Volta James Watt Wilhelm Weber (1857-1894) (1818-1889) (1824-1907) (1550-1617) (1642-1727) (1787-1854) (1623-1662) (1845-1923) (1816-1892) (1896-1966) (1856-1943) (1745-1827) (1736-1819) (1804-1891) Germany England Ireland Scotland England Germany France Germany Germany Sweden Croatia Italy Scotland Germany frequency energy.k.a. Lord Kelvin ** a. John Napier . stress exposure conductance equivalent dose magnetic field electric potential power.k. heat flow magnetic flux * a.

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