You are on page 1of 26

Units and Dimensions

Objectives
Know the difference between units and
dimensions
Understand the SI, USCS, and AES
systems of units
Know the SI prefixes from nano- to
gigaUnderstand and apply the concept of
dimensional homogeneity

Units & Dimensions


A system of units is described by:

a set of fundamental dimensions from


which all other dimensions may be derived,
and
a set of base units.

Dimensions
Dimension

Symbol

Length

[L]

Mass

[M]

time

[T]

force

[F]

electric current

[A]

absolute temperature

[q]

luminous intensity

[/]

Base Units
Fundamental Dimension

Base Unit

time

second (s)

electric current

ampere (A)

absolute temperature

kelvin (K)

luminous intensity

candela (cd)

amount of substance

mole (mol)

The International System


of Units (SI)
Fundamental Dimension

length [L]
mass [M]
time [T]
electric current [A]
absolute temperature [q]
luminous intensity [l]
amount of substance [n]

Base Unit

meter (m)
kilogram (kg)
second (s)
ampere (A)
kelvin (K)
candela (cd)
mole (mol)

What are these things?


See fundamentalSI.ppt for information
about these 'things'

SI Prefixes
Decimal
Multiplier

Symbol

nano

10-9

micro

10-6

milli

10-3

centi

10-2

deci

10-1

deka

10+1

da

hecto

10+2

kilo

10+3

mega

10+6

giga

10+9

Prefix

Supplementary SI
Dimensions
Supplementary Dimension

Base Unit

plane angle

radian (rad)

solid angle

steradian (sr)

SI System of Units
Force = (mass) (acceleration)

F=ma
W=mg

SI System of Units: Force


Force = ma

kg m

2
s
= Newton
=N

SI System of Units:
Work/Energy
Work/ Energy = Force X Distance
= N.m

kg.m

2
s
= Joule
=J

SI System of Units: Power


Power = Work / Time

N m
Joule J

s
s
s
2
kg m

3
s

= Watt
=W

SI System of Units: Stress/Pressure


Pressure = Force / Area

N
kg m / s
2
2
m
m
kg

2
ms

= Pascal
= Pa

U.S. Customary System of


Units (USCS)
Fundamental Dimension

Base Unit

length [L]

foot (ft)

force [F]

pound (lb)

time [T]

second (sec)

Derived Dimension

Unit

mass [FT2/L]

slug

Definition

lbf sec2/ft

USCS: Force =
(mass)*(acceleration)
1 lb f 1 slug ft/sec 2

F = ma
W = mg

American Engineering
System of Units (AES)
Fundamental Dimension

Base Unit

length

foot (ft)

mass

pound (lbm)

force

pound (lbf)

time

second (sec)

electric charge [Q]

coulomb (C)

absolute temperature

degree Rankine (oR)

luminous intensity

candela (cd)

amount of substance

mole (mol)

American Engineering System


Note, there is a problem when we use the
same unit (pound, meaning lbf and lbm)
to describe two different dimensions.
Newton's Second Law: F = ma
1 lbf = 1 lbm ft/s2 ??? NO!!!
Must have consistency of units.

Consistency of Units
Principle of consistency of units:

units on the left side of an equation must


be the same as those on the right side of
an equation
dimensional homogeneity

AES and Newtons Law


Must maintain dimensional homogeneity:

ma
F
gc
g c 32.174

lbm ft
lb f sec 2

Now we have lbf = lbf


See gcderived.ppt for the derivation of gc

Units
What do students in ENGR 111 need to
know about these system of Units?

See Units.doc

Typical Units Conversion


Converting Between Foot and Meter
To convert from foot to meter, multiply by
3.048* E-01
To convert from foot to meter, multiply by
(3.048* E-01)-1

Thought Item
Concerning the previous slide, which of
the following is true?
a. There are exactly 0.3048 m/ft.
b. There are exactly 0.3048 ft/m.
c. Neither a not b.

Hint: Think about this physically..

Pairs Exercise (5 min.)


Suppose you needed a metric drawing
of the front view of a 6x6x6 box.
At a scale of 1:10, would it fit on an A
size sheet of paper (portrait or
landscape) with margins?
Did you need to do unit conversion?
How long would you draw each side on
the metric drawing?

Another Type of Units


Conversion
The force of wind acting on a body can
be computed by the formula:
F = 0.00256 Cd V2 A
where: F = wind force in lbf , Cd= drag
coefficient (no units), V = wind velocity in
miles per hour and A = projected area in ft2
Is this dimensionally homogeneous?
What are the units of 0.00256?
More in Class 9.2

Reality Check...
Are units really
important?
Is checking your
work and your
teams work
really important?
Mars Lander (ABC news)
Mars Lander (NASA)