CHAPTER 5
Dimensions & Units
OBJECTIVES
State basic quantities and their respective SI units
State derived quantities and their respective SI units.
Realize the existence and importance of SI, international
system of standard measurements.
State and use dimensions for base quantities
Deduce the correct dimension for a certain derived
quantity and its equation of physics
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
Introduction
Physical Quantity
Units
SI Units
Rules for SI units
USCS
Dimensions
Introduction
Rapid increase in global communication and the
development of technology require a universal
measurement system.
The standard currently accepted in most nations is the
international metric system or International System
of units (SI system).
SI units are modification and refinement of earlier
metric system (MKS).
This chapter deals with the physical quantities, SI Units
and the differences between dimensions and units.
Physical Quantities
Measured Quantity
Unit SI
Symbol
Mass
Kilogram, kg
Length
meter, m
Time
second, s
Temperature
Kelvin, K
Electric current
ampere, A
Amount of substance
mol, mole
mol
Luminous intensity
candela, cd
Derivation unit
Area
m2
Volume
m3
Velocity
ms-1
Acceleration
ms-2
Force
N or kgms-2
Momentum
kgms-1
Work
J or kgm2s-2
time
(second)
velocity
b) acceleration
time
c) density
m s 2
(second)
s
mass
(kilogram)
-3
kilogram
per
cubic
meter
kg
m
volume
(meter)3
force
(kg m s-2 )
-1 -2
-2
e) pressure
kg
m
s
N
m
pascal, (Pa)
2
area
(m)
Units
All physical quantities
have units
SI unit
Prefixes are used to
represent larger or
smaller values.
10
SI Units
Developed and maintained by the CGPM
(General Conference on Weights and Measures).
Name was set in 1960.
Intended as a basis for world wide standardization.
Currently, the system is complete and used
universally.
New SI system is divided into 3 classes of quantity
units
Base Quantity Units
Supplementary Quantity Units
Derived Quantity Units
11
Length
Time
Mass
Electric current
Temperature
Amount Of substance
Luminous intensity
12
SI Unit Definitions
Length
1 meter = the distance traveled by light in a vacuum during
1/299 792 458 s (1983).
Time
1 second = duration of 9192 631 770 periods of radiation
corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine
levels of the grounds state of cesium-133 atom (1967).
13
SI Unit Definitions
Temperature
1 Kelvin= 1/273.16 of thermodynamic temperature of the
triple point of water (1967)
Mass
1 kg = mass of a cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy kept
by the international Bureau of Weights and Measures in
France (First 1889-Third 1901)
The National Standard Kilogram
No. 20, an accurate copy of the
International Standard Kilogram
kept at Svres, France, is housed
under a double bell jar in a vault
at the National Institute of
14
Supplementary Units
No longer been used since Oct. 1995, both units
moved into the class of derived units
15
Derived Units
Formed by combining base, supplementary or
other derived units.
Derived units with special names and symbols
Quantity
SI Unit
Symbol
Name
Base Unit
Frequency
Hz
hertz
s-1
Force
newton
kgms-2
Pressure stress
Pa
pascal
kgm-1s-2
16
Derived Units
Derived units with no special units names but
are combinations of base units and units with
special names.
Quantity
Unit
Acceleration
ms-2
Angular acceleration
rads-2
Area
m2
17
Rules of Units
Engineers should understand thoroughly and
apply properly the new system.
To apply, we have to follow the rule.
- Units Symbol and Names
- Multiplication and division
- Numbers
- Calculating with SI units
18
19
20
Numerical Calculations
Dimensional Homogeneity
Each term must be expressed in the same units
Eg: s = vt + at2 where s is position in meters (m), t is time
in seconds (s), v is velocity in m/s and a is acceleration in m/s 2
Regardless of how the equation is evaluated, it maintains its
dimensional homogeneity
All the terms of an equation can be replaced by a consistent set
of units, that can be used as a partial check for algebraic
manipulations of an equation
Example
Evaluate each of the following and express with SI
units having an approximate prefix:
Solution
(a)
50mN 6GN
50 10
30010
300 10
N 610 N
N
1kN 1kN
N 10 N 10 N
9
2
2
2
300k N 300 MN
Solution
(b)
45MN 3 / 900Gg
45 10 N
6
900 10 kg
0.0510 N / kg
1kN
0.0510 N
10 N
0.0510 kN / kg
12
12
50kN 3 / kg
1
kg
25
Convert to Si Unit
27
28
USCS
USCS units are also called Imperial units. Imperial or
USCS units are gradually being replaced by SI units.
Mass
Unit
slug
Symbol
slug
Length
Time
Force
foot
second
pound
ft
s
lb
29
Conversion of Units
In solving problems, all data must be converted to S.I units.
Example 1 : min s
60 s
3 min (3 min)
180 s
1 min
Example 2 : km h-1 m s-1
m
1200 km h 1200 10
-1
1h
3.33 m s 1
3600 s
Example 3 : cm3 m3
2
10
m
3
3
10 cm 10 cm
1 cm
1 10 5 m 3
30
Question 1 :
The density of lead is 11. 3 g cm-3 . What is
the value in kilograms per cubic meter ?
Solution :
3
g 1 kg 100 cm
4
3
11.3
1
.
13
10
kg
m
.
3
cm 1000 g 1 m
Question 2 :
How many nanoseconds does it take for light to
travel 1.00 km in vacuum ?
Solution
:
distance
10 3 m
6
3
3
.
33
10
s
3.33
10
ns.
time
8
1
3.00 10 ms
speed
31
Dimensions
Objectives
State and use dimensions for base
quantities
Deduce the correct dimension for a certain
derived quantity and its equation of
physics
Use dimensional analysis to check
homogeneity and construct equations.
32
Dimension
[mass] or [m]
[length] or [l ]
[time] or [t]
[temperature] or [T]
[amount of substance]
or [n]
33
Example:
Dimension of mass=[mass]=M
Dimensional equation: [X]=MaLbTc
Dimension for X= a dimension for mass,
b dimension for length and c dimension
for temperature
Dimensionless quantities: The quantities
that do not have dimension. E.g:
coefficient of friction
34
L
2
MLT
T 2
Dimension for force are 1 for mass, 1 for length and 2 for temperature
MLT 2 L ML2T 2
Dimension for work are 1 for mass, 2 for length and 2 for temperature
35
displacement
time
b) acceleration
velocity
time
LT
LT 1
LT 2
T
36
Applications of Dimensions
To determine the dimensions of a
physical quantity.
To check the homogeneity of an
equation
To construct an equation with given
quantities
Write the
dimension
of each known
physical quantity
V=
p 2 V b RT
volume
R
V
= gas
constant
Solution :
T=
temperature
a
.........(i)
V
2
V b .......(ii)
4. An equation is homogeneous
if the dimensions on both
sides of the equation
are equal
v = u + at
2
Solution :
L.H.S : [v]2 = L2T-2
R.H.S : [u] = LT-1 , [at] = (LT-2)(T) = LT-1
Dimension of the L.H.S R.H.S
not homogeneous
1 1
1
(n 1)
f
r1 r2
is dimensionally correct.
1
L.H.S : L1
f
R.H.S : n is dimensionless quantity.
1
1
1
1
L
and
L
r
1
r2
Both sides of this equation have the same dimension
homogeneous
k
Period, t = k m l g
or
T = MxLy(LT-2)z
T = MxLy+zT-2z
Step 6