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3.3 3.

3 Conversion Problems

1 FOCUS
Perhaps you have traveled
Objectives Guide for Reading abroad or are planning to do so. If so, you know—or will soon discover—
that different countries have different currencies. As a tourist, exchanging
3.3.1 Construct conversion factors Key Concepts money is essential to the enjoyment of your trip. After
from equivalent measurements. • What happens when a
all, you must pay for your meals, hotel, trans-
measurement is multiplied by a
3.3.2 Apply the technique of dimen- conversion factor? portation, gift purchases, and tickets to
sional analysis to a variety of • Why is dimensional analysis exhibits and events. Because each
useful? country’s currency compares differ-
conversion problems. • What types of problems are
ently with the U.S. dollar, knowing
3.3.3 Solve problems by breaking easily solved by using
dimensional analysis? how to convert currency units cor-
the solution into steps. rectly is very important. Conversion
Vocabulary
3.3.4 Convert complex units, using conversion factor problems are readily solved by a
dimensional analysis. dimensional analysis problem-solving approach called
Reading Strategy dimensional analysis.
Guide for Reading Monitoring Your Understanding
Preview the Key Concepts, the
section heads, and boldfaced Conversion Factors
Build Vocabulary L2 terms. List three things you expect If you think about any number of everyday situations, you will realize that a
to learn. After reading, state what
quantity can usually be expressed in several different ways. For example,
Paraphrase Have students write defi- you learned about each item
consider the monetary amount $1.
listed.
nitions of the vocabulary terms in their
1 dollar  4 quarters  10 dimes  20 nickels  100 pennies
own words. (Acceptable answers include
These are all expressions, or measurements, of the same amount of money.
conversion factor: a ratio of equivalent
The same thing is true of scientific quantities. For example, consider a dis-
measurements used to convert a quan- tance that measures exactly 1 meter.
tity from one unit to another, and
1 meter  10 decimeters  100 centimeters  1000 millimeters
dimensional analysis: a technique of
These are different ways to express the same length.
problem-solving that uses the units that Whenever two measurements are equivalent, a ratio of the two mea-
are part of a measurement to solve the surements will equal 1, or unity. For example, you can divide both sides of
problem.) the equation 1 m  100 cm by 1 m or by 100 cm.

L2 1 m  100 cm  1 1m 100 cm
Reading Strategy 1m 1m or 100 cm  100 cm  1
Sequence As the students read the conversion factors
Analyze and Calculate sections of Sam- A conversion factor is a ratio of equivalent measurements. The ratios
ple Problems 3.5–3.9, have them write 100 cm/1 m and 1 m/100 cm are examples of conversion factors. In a con-
word sequences using the appropriate version factor, the measurement in the numerator (on the top) is equivalent
conversion factors for each problem. to the measurement in the denominator (on the bottom). The conversion
factors above are read “one hundred centimeters per meter” and “one
meter per hundred centimeters.” Figure 3.11 illustrates another way to look
2 INSTRUCT Animation 3 Learn how to at the relationships in a conversion factor. Notice that the smaller number is
select the proper conversion part of the measurement with the larger unit. That is, a meter is physically
factor and how to use it.
larger than a centimeter. The larger number is part of the measurement
with ChemASAP with the smaller unit.

Have students examine the photo- 80 Chapter 3


graph that opens the section. Ask if any
of them has ever noticed a chart or
table in a bank or in the newspaper
relating the values of foreign currency Section Resources
to the U.S. dollar. Explain that these are
conversion tables that allow people to Print Technology
relate one currency to another. Ask, • Guided Reading and Study Workbook, • Interactive Textbook with ChemASAP,
How would you decide which Section 3.3 Animation 3, Problem-Solving 3.28, 3.30,
amount of money would be worth • Core Teaching Resources, Section 3.3 3.33, 3.35, 3.37, Assessment 3.3
more—75 euros or 75 British Review
pounds? (Convert these values to a • Transparencies, T31–T37
familiar currency—U.S. dollars.)

80 Chapter 3
1 meter 100 centimeters
Conversion Factors
1m = 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Use Visuals L1
Figure 3.11 Have students inspect the
Smaller number 1 m Larger unit
figure. Emphasize that a conversion
factor relates two equivalent measure-
ments. Ask, What two parts does
Larger number
100 cm Smaller unit every measurement have? (a number
and a unit) Point out that if this is so,
every conversion factor must contain
A Conversion Factor
two numbers and two units so that
one number and its unit equal another
Conversion factors are useful in solving problems in which a given Figure 3.11 The two parts of a number and its unit.
measurement must be expressed in some other unit of measure. When conversion factor, the numerator
a measurement is multiplied by a conversion factor, the numerical value is and the denominator, are equal.
Dimensional Analysis
generally changed, but the actual size of the quantity measured remains the
same. For example, even though the numbers in the measurements 1 g and
10 dg (decigrams) differ, both measurements represent the same mass. In
addition, conversion factors within a system of measurement are defined
CLASS Activity
quantities or exact quantities. Therefore, they have an unlimited number of
significant figures, and do not affect the rounding of a calculated answer. Expanding a Recipe L2
Here are some additional examples of pairs of conversion factors writ- Purpose To use dimensional analysis
ten from equivalent measurements. The relationship between grams and
kilograms is 1000 g  1 kg. The conversion factors are:
to convert common units
1000 g 1 kg
Materials copies of a recipe, lists of
and equivalents and conversions among
1 kg 1000 g
The scale of the micrograph in Figure 3.12 is in nanometers. Using the rela- the following measurements: tea-
tionship 109 nm  1 m, you can write the following conversion factors. spoon, tablespoon, 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, and
109 nm 1m
1 cup (These lists are found in most
and
1m 109 nm cookbooks.)
Common volumetric units used in chemistry include the liter and Procedure Distribute the recipe and
the microliter. The relationship 1 L  106 µL yields the following conversion the conversion list to pairs of students.
factors.
Explain that the students must rewrite
1L 106 mL the recipe so that it can feed six times
and Figure 3.12 In this computer
106 mL 1L
image of atoms, distance is the number of serving sizes suggested
Based on what you know about metric prefixes, you should be able to marked off in nanometers (nm).
Inferring What conversion by the recipe. Point out that it would
easily write conversion factors that relate equivalent metric quantities.
factor would you use to convert be tedious to have to measure out a
Checkpoint How many significant figures does a conversion factor within nanometers to meters? particular ingredient (pick out one) in
a system of measurement have? teaspoons or tablespoons six times, so
students must rewrite the recipe in
Dimensional Analysis appropriately larger units. After stu-
No single method is best for solving every type of problem. Several good dents have rewritten the recipe, have
approaches are available, and generally one of the best is dimensional student pairs exchange and compare
analysis. Dimensional analysis is a way to analyze and solve problems using recipes.
the units, or dimensions, of the measurements. The best way to explain this
problem-solving technique is to use it to solve an everyday situation.
Expected Outcome Students should
use the conversion lists to write simple
Section 3.3 Conversion Problems 81 conversion factors, such as 3 tea-
spoons/1 tablespoon, and then rewrite
the recipe using larger measurements.

Facts and Figures


Monetary Exchange Rates
The conversion of chemical units is similar to monetary transactions. Each time one type
the exchange of currency. Americans who of money is exchanged for another, the cur-
travel outside the United States must rent exchange rate serves as a conversion
exchange U.S. dollars for foreign currency at factor. International currency traders keep
a given rate of exchange. These exchange track of exchange rates 24 hours a day Answers to...
rates vary from day to day. The daily through a linked computer network.
Figure 3.12 1 m/109 nm
exchange rates affect all international
Checkpoint unlimited

Scientific Measurement 81
Section 3.3 (continued) SAMPLE PROBLEM 3.5

Discuss L2 Using Dimensional Analysis


How many seconds are in a workday that lasts exactly eight hours?
Explain that measurements are often
made using one unit and then con- Analyze List the knowns and the unknown.
verted into a related unit before being Knowns
used in calculations. For example, stu- • time worked ⫽ 8 h
dents might measure volume in liters • 1 hour ⫽ 60 min
or milliliters in the laboratory, but • 1 minute ⫽ 60 s
Unknown
express it as cubic centimeters in a cal- • seconds worked ⫽ ? s
culation. Explain to the students that
The first conversion factor must be written with the unit hours in the
conversions are done using conversion denominator. The second conversion factor must be written with the
factors. Emphasize that these conver- unit minutes in the denominator. This will provide the desired unit
sion factors are ratios of equivalent (seconds) in the answer.
physical quantities, such as 1 mL/1 cm3. Calculate Solve for the unknown.
Start with the known, 8 hours. Use the first relationship (1 hour ⫽
Sample Problem 3.5 60 minutes) to write a conversion factor that expresses 8 hours as
minutes. The unit hours must be in the denominator so that the
Answers known unit will cancel. Then use the second conversion factor to
change the unit minutes into the unit seconds. This conversion factor
28. 1.0080 × 104 min must have the unit minutes in the denominator. The two conversion
29. 1.44000 × 105 s Math factors can be used together in a simple overall calculation.
Handbook
Practice Problems Plus L2 8 h ⫻ 60 min ⫻ 60 s ⫽ 28,800 s
For help with dimensional 1h 1 min
At Earth’s farthest point from the sun, analysis, go to page R66.
⫽ 2.8800 ⫻ 104 s
sunlight takes 8.5 minutes to reach Practice Problems
Earth. How many weeks is this? Evaluate Does the result make sense?
The answer has the desired unit (seconds). Since the second is a small
(8.4 × 10–4 weeks) unit of time, you should expect a large number of seconds in 8 hours.
Before you do the actual arithmetic, it is a good idea to make sure that
the units cancel and that the numerator and denominator of each
Math Handbook conversion factor are equal to each other. The answer is exact since the
given measurement and each of the conversion factors is exact.
For a math refresher and practice,
direct students to dimensional Practice Problems
analysis, page R66. Problem-Solving 3.28 Solve
Problem 28 with the help of an 28. How many minutes are there 29. How many seconds are in
interactive guided tutorial. in exactly one week? exactly a 40-hour work week?
with ChemASAP

There is usually more than one way to solve a problem. When you first
read Sample Problem 3.5, you may have thought about different and
equally correct ways to approach and solve the problem. Some problems
are easily worked with simple algebra. Dimensional analysis provides
you with an alternative approach to problem solving. In either case, you
should choose the problem-solving method that works best.

82 Chapter 3

82 Chapter 3
SAMPLE PROBLEM 3.6 Sample Problem 3.6

Using Dimensional Analysis Conversion Problems


Answers
The directions for an experiment ask each student to measure 1.84 g of A conversion factor is a ratio 30. 67 students
copper (Cu) wire. The only copper wire available is a spool with a mass of two quantities that are 31. 86.4°F
of 50.0 g. How many students can do the experiment before the copper equal to one another. When
runs out? doing conversions, write the Practice Problems Plus L2
conversion factors so that the
Analyze List the knowns and the unknown. Chapter 3 Assessment problem 84 is
unit of a given measurement
cancels, leaving the correct related to Sample Problem 3.6.
Knowns
unit for your answer. Note
• mass of copper available ⫽ 50.0 g Cu
that the equalities needed to
1.84 g Cu write a particular conversion
• each student needs 1.84 grams of copper, or .
student may be given in the problem.
Unknown In other cases, you will need
• number of students ⫽ ? to know or look up the neces- Conversion Problems
sary equalities.
From the known mass of copper, calculate the number of students that Remind students that they often
can do the experiment by using the appropriate conversion factor. The Math Handbook convert from one unit to another,
desired conversion is mass of copper ¡ number of students. both inside and outside of chemis-
For help with conversion
Calculate Solve for the unknown. problems, go to page R66. try class. They convert money from
Because students is the desired unit for the answer, the conversion cents to dollars and time from
factor should be written with students in the numerator. Multiply the minutes to hours. Start out by giv-
mass of copper by the conversion factor. ing them practice with everyday
50.0 g Cu ⫻ 1 student ⫽ 27.174 students ⫽ 27 students
examples. Ask, A chicken needs
1.84 g Cu
to be cooked 20 minutes for
Note that because students cannot be fractional, the result is shown each pound it weighs. How long
rounded down to a whole number.
should the chicken be cooked if
Practice
Evaluate Problems
Does the result make sense? it weighs 4.5 pounds? (4.5 lb × 20
The unit of the answer (students) is the one desired. The number of min/lb = 90 min; 90 min × 1 h/60
students (27) seems to be a reasonable answer. You can make an min = 1.5 h. Most students will auto-
approximate calculation using the following conversion factor.
matically relate 90 minutes to 1.5
1 student
2 g Cu hours. This may help them become
Multiplying the above conversion factor by 50 g Cu gives the approxi- comfortable with the process.) If
mate answer of 25 students, which is close to the calculated answer. students are having difficulty with
conversion factors, you may wish
Practice Problems to have them list several conver-
30. An experiment requires that
sion factors on the chalkboard.
31. A 1.00-degree increase on the
each student use an 8.5-cm Celsius scale is equivalent to a Divide the class in half and have
length of magnesium ribbon. 1.80-degree increase on the each group challenge the other to
How many students can do Fahrenheit scale. If a tempera- Problem-Solving 3.30 Solve write the conversion factor given
Problem 30 with the help of an
the experiment if there is a ture increases by 48.0°C, what two related units. Remind them
interactive guided tutorial.
570-cm length of magnesium is the corresponding tempera-
with ChemASAP
that each conversion factor can
ribbon available? ture increase on the Fahren-
heit scale?
appear in two forms depending on
which value they put in the
numerator.

Section 3.3 Conversion Problems 83 Math Handbook


For a math refresher and prac-
tice, direct students to conver-
sion problems, page R66.
Differentiated Instruction
Less Proficient Readers L1
Provide as much class time as possible for picture of the problem to be solved when-
students to work on problem assignments in ever possible. Some students may want to
cooperative learning groups. Have students read the problem aloud or have a partner
explore their own problem-solving styles. read it to them. Some may want to work with
Encourage students to draw a diagram or symbols and equations.

Scientific Measurement 83
Converting Between Converting Between Units
Units In chemistry, as in many other subjects, you often need to express a mea-
surement in a unit different from the one given or measured initially.
Problems in which a measurement with one unit is converted to an
CLASS Activity equivalent measurement with another unit are easily solved using dimen-
sional analysis.
Suppose that a laboratory experiment requires 7.5 dg of magnesium
Sports Stats L2 metal, and 100 students will do the experiment. How many grams of mag-
Purpose To use dimensional analysis nesium should your teacher have on hand? Multiplying 100 students by
to convert between English and metric 7.5 dg/student gives you 750 dg. But then you must convert dg to grams.
Sample Problem 3.7 shows you how to do the conversion.
units
Materials copies of media guides
containing vital statistics, such as
SAMPLE PROBLEM 3.7
heights and weights, of players on a
sports team (These guides are avail- Converting Between Metric Units
able from local sports franchises.) Express 750 dg in grams.
Procedure Group students. Distribute Analyze List the knowns and the unknown.
the media guides and assign each
Knowns Unknown
group a set of players. Ask the group to • mass ⫽ 750 dg • mass ⫽ ? g
convert heights and weights into • 1 g ⫽ 10 dg
heights and masses expressed in meters The desired conversion is decigrams ¡ grams. Using the expres-
and kilograms, respectively. Have stu- sion relating the units, 10 dg ⫽ 1 g, multiply the given mass by the
dents document their approach, includ- proper conversion factor.
ing dimensional analysis expressions,
Calculate Solve for the unknown.
conversion factors, and calculations. The correct conversion factor is shown below.
Expected Outcome Students 1g
should use conversion factors, such 10 dg
as 2.54 cm/1 inch and 454 g/1 lb to Note that the known unit is in the denominator and the unknown unit
convert their measurements. is in the numerator.
1g
750 dg ⫻ ⫽ 75 g
10 dg
Sample Problem 3.7
Evaluate Does the result make sense?
Answers Because the unit gram represents a larger mass than the unit
32. a. 44 m b. 4.6 x 10–3 g decigram, it makes sense that the number of grams is less than the
c. 10.7 cg given number of decigrams. The unit of the known (dg) cancels, and
33. a. 1.5 × 10–2 L b. 7.38 × 10–3 kg the answer has the correct unit (g). The answer also has the correct
number of significant figures.
c. 6.7 × 103 ms d. 9.45 × 107 µg Practice Problems

Practice Problems Plus L2 Practice Problems


Make the following conversions. 32. Using tables from this chap- 33. Convert the following.
a. 0.045 L to cubic centimeters ter, convert the following. a. 15 cm3 to liters
(4.5 × 101 cm3) Problem-Solving 3.33 Solve
Problem 33 with the help of an
a. 0.044 km to meters b. 7.38 g to kilograms
b. 4.6 mg to grams c. 6.7 s to milliseconds
b. 14.3 mg to grams (1.43 × 10–2 g) interactive guided tutorial.
c. 0.107 g to centigrams d. 94.5 g to micrograms
c. 0.0056 m to micrometers with ChemASAP
(5.6 × 103 µm)
d. 0.035 cm to millimeters 84 Chapter 3
(3.5 × 10–1 mm)

84 Chapter 3
Multistep Problems Many complex tasks in your everyday life are best Discuss L2
handled by breaking them down into manageable parts. For example, if
you were cleaning a car, you might first vacuum the inside, then wash the
Explain that dimensional analysis is an
Scientific Notation extremely powerful problem-solving
exterior, then dry the exterior, and finally put on a fresh coat of wax. Simi-
larly, many complex word problems are more easily solved by breaking the A It is often convenient to tool. Learning this method requires
express very large or very
solution down into steps. extra effort on the part of students.
small numbers in scientific
When converting between units, it is often necessary to use more than notation. The distance They must often use multiple conver-
one conversion factor. Sample Problem 3.8 illustrates the use of multiple between the sun and Earth is
conversion factors.
sion factors. The extra effort can be jus-
150,000,000 km, which can
be written as 1.5 ⫻ 108 km. tified because the proper manipulation
Checkpoint What problem-solving methods can help you solve complex The diameter of a gold atom of the units assures accurate manipula-
word problems? is 0.000 000 000 274 m, or tion of the numbers.
2.74 ⫻ 10⫺10 m.
When multiplying numbers Emphasize that students should use
written in scientific notation, dimensional analysis as a tool for solv-
SAMPLE PROBLEM 3.8 add the exponents. When
dividing numbers written in ing all of the problems they encounter
Converting Between Metric Units scientific notation, subtract in chemistry. Their first question about
What is 0.073 cm in micrometers? the exponent in the denomi- any quantity should be “What are the
nator from the exponent in
the numerator. units of this quantity?” By comparing
Analyze List the knowns and the unknown.
the units of various quantities in a
Knowns Unknown Math Handbook problem, students can discover
• length ⫽ 0.073 cm ⫽ 7.3 ⫻ 10⫺2 cm • length ⫽ ? µm
• 102 cm ⫽ 1 m For help with scientific whether they need to perform any unit
• 1 m ⫽ 106 µm notation, go to page R56. conversions before proceeding.
The desired conversion is from centimeters to micrometers. The prob-
lem can be solved in a two-step conversion. Sample Problem 3.8
Calculate Solve for the unknown. Answers
First change centimeters to meters; then change meter to microme-
ters: centimeters ¡ meters ¡ micrometers. Each conversion Problem-Solving 3.35 Solve 34. 2.27 × 10–8 cm
factor is written so that the unit in the denominator cancels the unit in
Problem 35 with the help of an
interactive guided tutorial.
35. 1.3 × 108 dm
the numerator of the previous factor.
with ChemASAP Practice Problems Plus L2
1 m ⫻ 10 mm ⫽ 7.3 ⫻ 102 mm
6
7.3 ⫻ 10 -2 cm ⫻ 1m Chapter 3 Assessment problem
102 cm
70 is similar to Sample Problem 3.8.
Evaluate Does the result make sense?
Because a micrometer is a much smaller unit than a centimeter, the
answer should be numerically larger than the given measurement. The
units have canceled correctly, and the answer has the correct number
of significant figures. Remind students that writing a
number in scientific notation does
Practice Problems
not change the actual size of the
34. The radius of a potassium 35. The diameter of Earth is number. In Sample Problem 3.8,
atom is 0.227 nm. Express this 1.3 ⫻ 104 km. What is the the given measurement 0.073 cm
radius in the unit centimeters. diameter expressed in can be written as 7.3 × 10–2 cm.
decimeters?

Math Handbook
For a math refresher and prac-
tice, direct students to scientific
Section 3.3 Conversion Problems 85 notation, page R56.

Differentiated Instruction
Less Proficient Readers L1
Students may benefit from a reminder that
certain key words and phrases in each word
problem indicate the unknown quantity and
its units. Some of these phrases are: Answers to...
• How much
• What is
Checkpoint Break the solu-
• How long
• Determine tion down into steps. Use more than
• Find one conversion factor if necessary.

Scientific Measurement 85
Sample Problem 3.9 Converting Complex Units Many common measurements are expressed
as a ratio of two units. For example, the results of international car races
Answers often give average lap speeds in kilometers per hour. You measure the den-
sities of solids and liquids in grams per cubic centimeter. You measure the
36. 1.93 × 104 kg /m3
gas mileage in a car in miles per gallon of gasoline. If you use dimensional
37. 7.0 × 1012 RBC/L analysis, converting these complex units is just as easy as converting single
Practice Problems Plus L2 units. It will just take multiple steps to arrive at an answer.

1.00 L of neon gas contains 2.69 × 1022


neon atoms. How many neon atoms SAMPLE PROBLEM 3.9
are in 1.00 mm3 of neon gas under Converting Ratios of Units
the same conditions? (2.69 × 1016 The mass per unit volume of a substance is a property called density.
atoms) The density of manganese, a metallic element, is 7.21 g/cm3. What is the
density of manganese expressed in units kg/m3?

Math Analyze List the knowns and the unknown.


Handbook
Knowns
For a math refresher and practice, • density of manganese ⫽ 7.21 g/cm3
direct students to dimensional anal- • 103 g ⫽ 1 kg
ysis, page R66. • 106 cm3 ⫽ 1 m3
Unknown
• density manganese ⫽ ? kg/m3
The desired conversion is g/cm3 ¡ kg/m3. The mass unit in the
Quick LAB numerator must be changed from grams to kilograms: g ¡ kg.
In the denominator, the volume unit must be changed from cubic
centimeters to cubic meters: cm3 ¡ m3. Note that the relationship
between cm3 and m3 was determined from the relationship
Dimensional Analysis L2
between cm and m. Cubing the relationship 102 cm ⫽ 1 m yields
Objective After completing this activ- (102 cm)3 ⫽ (1 m)3, or 106 cm3 ⫽ 1 m3.
ity, students will be able to
Calculate Solve for the unknown.
• develop conversion factors using Math Handbook
7.21 g 1 kg 106 cm3
dimensional analysis. ⫻ 3 ⫻ ⫽ 7.21 ⫻ 103 kg/m3
For help with dimensional 1 cm3 10 g 1 m3
analysis, go to page R66.
Evaluate Does the result make sense?
Because the physical size of the volume unit m3 is so much larger than
Practice Problems
cm3 (106 times), the calculated value of the density should be larger
than the given value even though the mass unit is also larger (103
Students may think that because a times). The units cancel, the conversion factors are correct, and the
conversion factor equals unity, it answer has the correct ratio of units.
doesn’t matter whether the conversion
Practice Problems
factor or its reciprocal is used in a cal-
culation. Remind students that a given 36. Gold has a density of 37. There are 7.0 ⫻ 106 red blood
pair of equivalent measurements Problem-Solving 3.37 Solve 19.3 g/cm3. What is the cells (RBC) in 1.0 mm3 of
Problem 37 with the help of an density in kilograms per blood. How many red blood
yields two different conversion factors, interactive guided tutorial.
cubic meter? cells are in 1.0 L of blood?
only one of which can be used to with ChemASAP
obtain the correct conversion.
Skills Focus Calculating

Prep Time 5 minutes 86 Chapter 3


Materials 3 inch × 5 inch index cards
(or paper cut to approximately the
same size)
Class Time 15 minutes Analyze and Conclude For Enrichment L3
Expected Outcome Students should 1. If a measurement of a quantity is being con- Have students express the ratio in scientific nota-
derive appropriate conversion factors verted, the unit changes. If the equivalence of tion between the largest and smallest units
among metric units using standard a quantity is being found, the conversion fac- listed in each table. (Table 3.3: 1 × 1012,
metric quantities and prefixes. tor changes the quantity itself. Table 3.4: 1 × 106; Table 3.5: 1 × 109 )
2. a. 0.785 m b. 56 cm3 c. 7.7 × 107 mg
d. 9.8 × 10–10 dm e. 9.6 × 103 µm
f. 6.7 × 103 nm

86 Chapter 3
Quick LAB
3 ASSESS
Dimensional Analysis Evaluate Understanding L2
Purpose Procedure To determine students’ grasp of con-
To apply the problem- A conversion factor is a ratio of equivalent version factors, ask, What is the rela-
solving technique of measurements. For any relationship, you tionship between the numerator
dimensional analysis to can write two ratios. On a conversion fac-
conversion problems. tor card you can write one ratio on each
and the denominator of any mea-
side of the card. surement conversion factor? (They
Materials are equivalent so that the ratio of numer-
1. Make a conversion factor card for each
• 3 inch  5 inch index metric relationship shown in Tables 3.3, ator to denominator equals 1.)
cards or paper cut to
approximately the same 3.4, and 3.5. Show the inverse of the Analyze and Conclude
size conversion factor on the back of 1. What is the effect of multiplying a Reteach L1
each card. given measurement by one or more
• pen
2. Use the appropriate conversion factor conversion factors?
Model the conversion of 2 L to
cards to set up solutions to Sample
2000 mL. Suggest that students check
2. Use your conversion factor cards to set
Problems 3.7 and 3.8. Notice that in up solutions to these problems. the answer by explaining that when
each solution, the unit in the denomi- a. 78.5 cm  ? m using a conversion factor, such as
nator of the conversion factor cancels b. 0.056 L  ? cm3 1 L = 1000 mL, the measurement
the unit in the numerator of the previ- c. 77 kg  ? mg
expressed with the smaller unit (mL)
ous conversion factor. d. 0.098 nm  ? dm
e. 0.96 cm  ? µm should have a larger number associ-
f. 0.0067 mm  ? nm ated with it (2000) than the measure-
ment expressed with the larger unit (L).

Connecting Concepts
3.3 Section Assessment
Acceptable answers include
38. Key Concept What happens to the numerical 44. Convert the following. Express your answers in (a) analyze the known and
value of a measurement that is multiplied by a scientific notation. unknowns, devise a set of conver-
conversion factor? What happens to the actual a. 7.5  104 J to kilojoules sions steps that yields the desired
size of the quantity? b. 3.9  105 mg to decigrams
final units, and write a conversion
39. Key Concept Why is dimensional analysis c. 2.21  104 dL to microliters
factor for each step; (b) calculate by
useful? 45. Light travels at a speed of 3.00  1010 cm/sec.
What is the speed of light in kilometers/hour?
multiplying (making sure that the
40. Key Concept What types of problems can be
solved using dimensional analysis?
appropriate units cancel); and (c)
41. What conversion factor would you use to convert
evaluate the magnitude and units of
between these pairs of units? the calculated answer.
a. minutes to hours Problem-Solving Skills Reread the passage on
b. grams to milligrams
solving numeric problems in Section 1.4. Explain
how the three-step process might apply to conver-
c. cubic decimeters to milliliters
sion problems that involve dimensional analysis.
42. Make the following conversions. Express your
answers in standard exponential form.
a. 14.8 g to micrograms
If your class subscribes to the
b. 3.72  103 kg to grams
c. 66.3 L to cubic centimeters
Interactive Textbook, use it to
Assessment 3.3 Test yourself
43. An atom of gold has a mass of 3.271  1022 g. How on the concepts in Section 3.3. review key concepts in Section 3.3.
many atoms of gold are in 5.00 g of gold? with ChemASAP
with ChemASAP

Section 3.3 Conversion Problems 87

Section 3.3 Assessment


38. The numerical value (and the unit) 42. a. 1.48 × 107 µg b. 3.72 g
changes; the actual size does not change. c. 6.63 × 104 cm3
39. Dimensional analysis provides an alterna- 43. 1.53 × 1022 atoms of gold
tive approach to problem solving. 44. a. 7.5 × 101 kJ b. 3.9 × 103 dg
40. conversion problems c. 2.21 × 101 µL
41. a. 1 hour / 60 min b. 103 mg / 1 g 45. 1.08 × 109 km/hr
c. 103 mL / 1 dm3

Scientific Measurement 87
Scale Models
A scale factor is a ratio that equals the Scale Models
ratio of the model’s dimensions to the
structure’s dimension. Ask, What is the A scale model is a physical or conceptual representation of an
height of a building if it is repre- object that is proportional in size to the object it represents.
sented by a 1.30 m model using a Examples include model trains, model airplanes, and dollhouses.
scale factor of 1:48? (62.4 m) Most model trains are built to a scale of 1:87. This ratio means that
1
Computerized design (CAD) programs the model is 87 the size of an actual train. On the model, 1 cm
have replaced many tedious aspects of represents 87 cm on the train.
technical design. A CAD program usu- Scale models aren’t just for hobbyists—scientists and engineers
ally permits a designer to begin with a use them, too. A simple scientific model in the classroom is a globe,
few important elements and measure- which is a small-scale model of Earth. (A globe with a diameter of
ments of the object being designed. As 30 cm has a scale of 1:42,500,000. ) Applying Concepts How do
the design progresses, the program you use the scale of a model as a conversion factor?
computes the dimensions of the
added elements and produces draw-
ings of the object from any perspec-
tive. The introduction of CAD programs
has reduced the time needed to design
complex items as well as the number
of errors that plague such projects.

88 Chapter 3
Answers to...
Applying Concepts The scale of
a model can be used as a conversion
factor by expressing it as a fraction Differentiated Instruction
of equivalent measurements. For
Gifted and Talented L3
example, if a globe has a scale of
1:42,500,000, you can write the con- Have students prepare a display on current
version factor 42,500,000 cm CAD applications. Local colleges or technical
(actual)/1 cm (model). If the globe schools that teach CAD are good sources of
has a 30-cm diameter, you can cal- information. Other possibilities include
culate the actual diameter of Earth library research or articles in magazines or
as follows: newspapers.
3.0 × 101 cm × 42,500,000 cm = 1.3 × 10 9cm
1 cm
Figure 3.13 lead

88 Chapter 3