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Second edition
Corrected and reprinted
1993-05-l 5

Quantities and units Part 2:
Periodic and related phenomena
Grandeurs et unit& Partie 2: Ph&om&nes pkriodiques et connexes

3:55 pm, 6/21/06

Reference number
IS0 31-2:1992(E)

in liaison with ISO. International organizations. This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition (IS0 31-2:1978). giving. definitions of these quantities and units. also take part in the work. conversion factors. A. in use temporarily. CIPM) in 1980 concerning the status of supplementary units has been incorporated. International Standard IS0 31-2 was prepared by Technical Committee lSO/TC 12. The major technical changes from the first edition are the following: . units. including photocopying and microfilm. IS0 collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization. International Organization for Standardization Case Postale 56 l CH-1211 Geneve 20 l Switzerland Printed in Switzerland ii . without permission in writing from the publisher. Unless otherwise specified. electronic or mechanical. where necessary. 6 IS0 1992 All rights reserved. The scope of Technical Committee lSO/TC 12 is standardization of units and symbols for quantities and units (and mathematical symbols) used within the different fields of science and technology. .the decision by the International Committee for Weights and Measures (Comite International des Poids et Mesures.the special remark on logarithmic quantities and units has been elab orated. . symbols. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. Publication as an International Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.the unit angstrom. has been transferred to the “Conversion factors and remarks” column. governmental and non-governmental.IS0 31-2:1992(E) Foreword IS0 (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (IS0 member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through IS0 technical committees. Standard conversion factors for converting between the various units also come under the scope of the TC. Quantities. In fulfilment of this responsibility. no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means. lSO/TC 12 has prepared IS0 31. Draft International Standards adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting.

0 IS0 IS0 31-2:1992(E) IS0 31 consists of the following parts.Part 12: Characteristic numbers .Part 5: Electricity and magnetism .Part 11: Mathematical signs and symbols for use in the physical sciences and technology .Part 7: Acoustics ..Part 4: Heat .Part 1: Space and time . under the general title Quantiries and units: .Part 3: Mechanics .Part 6: Light and related electromagnetic radiations .Part 9: Atomic and nuclear physics ..Part 10: Nuclear reactions and ionizing radiations . 111 .Part 2: Periodic and related phenomena .Part 13: Solid state physics .Part 8: Physical chemistry and molecular physics .Part 0: General principles .

3. The vectorial character of some quantities is pointed out. iv . A symbol within parentheses implies that it is a “reserve symbol”. The SI units have been adopted by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (Conference G&-&ale des Poids et Mesures. the number in the preceding edition is shown in parentheses on the left-hand page under the new number for the quantity. 4.1 Arrangement of the tables The tables of quantities and units in IS0 31 are arranged so that the quantities are presented on the left-hand pages and the units on the corresponding right-hand pages. This does not mean that the other is not equally acceptable. the main symbol is in use with a different meaning. but no attempt is made to be complete or consistent. g. 0. see IS0 31-O.1 General Units for the corresponding quantities are given together with the international symbols and the definitions.IS0 31-2:1992(E) 0 IS0 Introduction 0. These definitions are given merely for identification. The units are arranged in the following way: a) The names of the SI units are given in large print (larger than text size). p. When two types of italic (sloping) letter exist (for example as with 9. All units between two full lines belong to the quantities between the corresponding full lines on the left-hand pages. For further information. where two or more names or two or more symbols are given for one quantity and no special distinction is made. g) only one of these is given. they are on an equal footing.3 Tables of units 0.2 Tables of quantities The most important quantities within the field of this document are given together with their symbols and. In most cases only one name and only one symbol for the quantity are given. in most cases. In general it is recommended that such variants should not be given different meanings. Where the numbering of an item has been changed in the revision of a part of IS0 31. definitions. CGPM). to be used when. a dash is used to indicate that the item in question did not appear in the preceding edition. 0. 0. especially when this is needed for the definitions. they are not intended to be complete. in a particular context.

2 Remark on units for quantities of dimension one The coherent unit for any quantity of dimension one is the number one (1).53 Reynolds number Re = 1. When the value of such a quantity is expressed.53 x 1 = 1. These units are separated by a broken line from the SI units for the quantities concerned. This implies that the quantities plane angle and solid angle are considered as dimensionless derived quantities. They are arranged in three groups: 1) special names of units in the CGS system. 0. These annexes are informative and not integral parts of the standard.0 IS0 IS0 31-2:1992(E) The Si units and their decimal multiples and sub-multiples are recommended. The units radian and steradian may be used in expressions for derived units to facilitate distinction between quantities of different nature but having the same dimension. When numbers in the “Conversion factors and remarks” column are exact. the unit 1 is generally not written out explicitly. EXAMPLES Refractive index n = 1. d) The names of non-S1 units which should not be combined with SI units are given only in annexes in some parts of IS0 31. 2) names of units based on the foot. c) The names of non-S1 units which may be used temporarily together with SI units are given in small print (smaller than text size) in the “Conversion factors and remarks” column.32 x lo3 Considering that plane angle is generally expressed as the ratio between two lengths. Instead of prefixes.3. 0. although the decimal multiples and sub-multiples are not explicitly mentioned.5 Special remark on logarithmic quantities and units The expression for the time dependence of a damped harmonic oscillation can be written either in real notation or as the real part of a complex notation F(t) = A em*’ cos(ot) = Re (A e( -*+ ‘“‘3 . in the International System of Units. powers of 10 may be used. and solid angle as the ratio between an area and the square of a length. 3) names of other units. 0. the CIPM specified in 1980 that.4 Numerical statements All numbers in the “Definition” column are exact. the radian and steradian are dimensionless derived units. Prefixes shall not be used to form multiples or submultiples of this unit. pound and second and some other related units. the word “exactly” is added in parentheses after the number. b) The names of non-S1 units which may be used together with SI units because of their practical importance or because of their use in specialized fields are given in normal print (text size).

). and radian. Using the special names neper.e. Np. Since power is often proportional to the square of an amplitude. rad/s. l/s. and the unit for /? is radian per metre. 1. LF = In(F/F. y=a+jfi where the unit for a is neper per metre. [l B = (l/2) In 10 Np w 1. rad/m. the units for 6 and o become neper per second.. In IS0 31. The neper is used as a unit for logarithmic quantities. Instead of the bel. for the units of 6t and it respectively. is commonly used. respectively. often In practice the non-coherent unit degree unrt used for angles and the B. its sub-multiple the decibel. Np/m.h(. the radian is used as a unit for plane angles and for the phase of circular functions. rad. the level of a field quantity is therefore defined as the natural logarithm of a ratio of two amplitudes.151 293 Np] based on common logarithms (base 10) for logarithmic quantities. and is hence a quantity of dimension one. 1c/18g rad)b.IS0 31-2:1992(E) @a IS0 This simple relation involving 6 and o can be obtained only when e (base of natural logarithms) is used as the base of the exponential function. Corresponding variation in space is treated in the same manner F(x) = A e-OLx cos(flx) = Re(A ewY7. . nonG. Neper and radian are special names for the “dimensionless” unit one. and radian per second. The unit neper (= the number 1) is the level of a field quantity when F/F0 = e. dB.) in order to make the level of the power quantity under these circumstances equal to the level of the field quantity. a factor l/2 is introduced in the definition of the level of a power quantity Lp = (l/2) In(P/P.s. The coherent SI unit for the damping coefficient 6 and the angular frequency w is second to the power minus one. Np/.

2 Normative reference The following standard contains provisions which. the edition indicated was valid. 3 Names and symbols The names and symbols for quantities and units of periodic and related phenomena are given on the following pages. constitute provisions of this part of IS0 31. Where appropriate. At the time of publication.INTERNATIONAL STANDARD Q IS0 IS0 31-2:1992(E) Quantities and units Part 2: Periodic and related phenomena 1 Scope This part of IS0 31 gives names and symbols for quantities and units of periodic and related phenomena. All standards are subject to revision.Pat? 7: General. . conversion factors are also given. through reference in this text. Members of IEC and IS0 maintain registers of currently valid International Standards. IEC 27-l :1992. and parties to agreements based on this part of IS0 31 are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent edition of the standard indicated below. Letter symbols to be used in electrical technology .

2 rotational frequency n Number of revolutions divided by time 2-4 angular frequency. 2-3.‘jr then z is the time constant.IS0 31-2:1992(E) 0 Quantities PERIODIC AND RELATED PHENOMENA Item No. 2 Quantity Symbol T 2-l period. periodic time 2-2 time constant T of an exponentially varying quantity IS0 Definition Remarks Time of one cycle Time after which the quantity would reach its limit if it maintained its initial rate of variation If a quantity is a function of time given by F(r) = A + Be. pulsatance CO 0 = 27tf 2-5 wavelength Distance in the direction of propagation of a periodic wave between two successive points where at a given time the phase is the same .1 frequency ft v f= l/T 2-3.

3.a metre m See the introduction. and the French tr/min (tours par minute) and trls (tours par seconde). 2-4.1) second. -1 angstriim CA).0 IS0 31-2:1992(E) IS0 Units Item No.a second S 2-3.a hertz Hz 2-3. 1 A = IO-‘* m (exactly) . Language-dependent abbreviations.a second S 2-2. The designations “revolutions per minute” (r/min) and “revolutions per second” (r/s) are widely used for rotational frequency in specifications on rotating machinery.a radian per second rad/s 2-4.b reciprocal second.2. are not recommended. such as the English rev/min and rpm (revolutions per minute) and rev/s and rps (revolutions per second). subclause 0. PERIODIC AND RELATED PHENOMENA Name of unit International symbol for unit 2-l .b reciprocal S -1 Definition 1 Hz = 1 s-’ Conversion factors and remarks 1 Hz is the frequency of a periodic phenomenon of which the period is 1 s. second to the power minus one 1) See also IEC 27-l. second to the power minus one S 2-5.

.2 (4 group velocity 2-9 (Z-7. symbols and definitions apply to levels based on other quantities which are linear or quadratic functions of the amplitudes. being a reference power Quantities Remarks The vector quantities u and k corresponding to repetency and angular repetency are called wave vector and propagation vector respectively.ln(F. being a reference amplitude Lp = T ’ In(P/P.7) cP# “V dw CL3 = dk LF level of a power Lp quantity LF = In (F/Fe) where F and F. is called the field level difference A& = In(F. If velocities of electromagnetic waves and other velocities are both involved. 4 . then c should be used for the former and v for the latter.2) angular repetency. level of electric field strength Lp A difference between two field levels with the same reference F. The quantity on which the level is based should be specified in the name and by the subscript of the symbol. respectively.IS0 31-2:1992(E) Q IS0 PERIODIC AND RELATED PHENOMENA (continued) Item No. Similar names.1 (4 phase velocity c. P. 7) level of a field quantity 2-l 0 (243.) = WI IF*) independent of F. wavenumber a a=l/A 2-7 (Z-6.) ./F.> where P and PO represent two powers. If P/P../F. angular wavenumber k k=2xa 2-8. F.. Definition Symbol Quantity 2-6 repetency.)* then Lp=LL. represent two amplitudes of the same kind. Y c=o= k ’ 2-8. = (F/F.g. An analogous relation applies to power level difference. e.

2.) dB.b reciprocal metre. Name of unit International symbol for unit Z-6. The decibel. subclause 0. dB. is widely used.F neper NP 0. subclause 1 Np is the level of a i-lo.---------!-9. metre to the power minus one m-l 2-7.a neper NP _ _ _ _ _ _ ------_-----------1 Np is the level of a field quantity when ln(F/F.) dB.115 129 3 Np 2 lg(F/F. 2-9.) B = 20 lg(F/&.) B = 10 lg (P/P.b bel B 1 B is the level of a power quantity when 1 dB = v Np (exactly) = 0.5. + In(P/P. Generally LF = In(F/F.a reciprocal metre. metre to the Conversion factors and remarks m-’ power minus one !-8.) = 1 See the introduction.) Np = 2 lg(F/&.5.115 129 3 Np lg(W%) = 1 5 . metre !-7.) Np = lg (P/P. subclause 0. 2-10.b bel B 1 B is the level of a field quantity when 1 dB = q Np (exactly) = 0. dB.IS0 31-2:1992(E) @a IS0 PERIODIC AND RELATED PHENOMENA (continued Jnits Item No. power quantity when The decibel.a metre per second m/s _--.) = 1 Generally Lp = + In(P/P.) = 1 ___---____~_____--_------------See the introduction. is widely used.a radian per rad/m Definition See the introduction.3.

7) Symbol Quantity damping coefficient d Definition If a quantity is a function of time given by F(t) = Aem6’ cos[o(t .)] The quantity /I(x .ro)] then 6 is the damping coefficient IS0 Quantities Remarks t = l/6 is the time constant (r$tyetion time) of the amThe quantity o(r .rO) is called the phase. .q. F(x) = Aewa cos [/3(x .. 2-l 3. 2-l 1 E-9.1 attenuation (Z-7 7.IS0 31-2:1992(E) 0 PERIODIC AND RELATED PHENOMENA (concluded) Item No.7) coefficient a If a quantity is a function of distance x given by The quantity l/a is called the attenuation length.3) coefficient Y Y =a+jfi K = .2 phase (Z-7 7.7) d e c r e m e n t A Product of damping coefficient and period 2-13. 2-12 logarithmic (2-70.2) coefficient P then a is the attenuation coefficient and fi is the phase coefficient 2-l 3-3 propagation (2-7 7.+J is called the phase.jy is the complex angular repetency.

a neper NP 0. Name of unit International symbol for unit Conversion factors and remarks Definition -1 2-l 1 . subclause second 0.a reciprocal metre. ---------..------.. subclause 2-l 2.---------.b neper per Np/s _ _ _ _ _ .a S reciprocal second. subclause 0.5..----. 2-l 3.5.. metre to the power minus one m-l See the introduction. a and /I are often given in Np/m and rad/m respectively.@3 IS0 31-2:1992(E) IS0 PERIODIC AND RELATED PHENOMENA (concluded) Units Item No. . second to the power minus one _----_-_____--_---------~_ 2-l 1 .- See the introduction.5.-------See the introduction.

periodic variations. units of measurement. frequencies. intemstional system of units.15/. amversion of units.72 Dadptom system of units.IS0 31=2:1992(E) 0 IS0 c c UDC 389. conversion factor. damping. h Priibssedan7pages .16:[534+535+537]. symbols. quantities.081:006. waves. definitions. r sttenuation.