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Key concepts and summary

Measurements are made using a variety of units. It is often useful or necessary to convert a measured quantity from one unit into another. These conversions are accomplished using unit conversion factors, which are derived by simple applications of a mathematical approach called the factor-label method or dimensional analysis. This strategy is also employed to calculate sought quantities using measured quantities and appropriate mathematical relations.

Key equations

  • T °C = 5 9 × T °F 32
  • T °F = 9 5 × T °C + 32
  • T K = °C + 273.15
  • T °C = K 273.15

Chemistry end of chapter exercises

Write conversion factors (as ratios) for the number of:

(a) yards in 1 meter

(b) liters in 1 liquid quart

(c) pounds in 1 kilogram

(a) 1.0936 yd 1 m ; (b) 0.94635 L 1 qt ; (c) 2.2046 lb 1 kg

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Write conversion factors (as ratios) for the number of:

(a) kilometers in 1 mile

(b) liters in 1 cubic foot

(c) grams in 1 ounce

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The label on a soft drink bottle gives the volume in two units: 2.0 L and 67.6 fl oz. Use this information to derive a conversion factor between the English and metric units. How many significant figures can you justify in your conversion factor?

2.0 L 67.6 fl oz = 0.030 L 1 fl oz
Only two significant figures are justified.

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The label on a box of cereal gives the mass of cereal in two units: 978 grams and 34.5 oz. Use this information to find a conversion factor between the English and metric units. How many significant figures can you justify in your conversion factor?

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Soccer is played with a round ball having a circumference between 27 and 28 in. and a weight between 14 and 16 oz. What are these specifications in units of centimeters and grams?

68–71 cm; 400–450 g

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A woman's basketball has a circumference between 28.5 and 29.0 inches and a maximum weight of 20 ounces (two significant figures). What are these specifications in units of centimeters and grams?

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How many milliliters of a soft drink are contained in a 12.0-oz can?

355 mL

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A barrel of oil is exactly 42 gal. How many liters of oil are in a barrel?

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The diameter of a red blood cell is about 3 × 10 −4 in. What is its diameter in centimeters?

8 × 10 −4 cm

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The distance between the centers of the two oxygen atoms in an oxygen molecule is 1.21 × 10 −8 cm. What is this distance in inches?

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Is a 197-lb weight lifter light enough to compete in a class limited to those weighing 90 kg or less?

yes; weight = 89.4 kg

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A very good 197-lb weight lifter lifted 192 kg in a move called the clean and jerk. What was the mass of the weight lifted in pounds?

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Many medical laboratory tests are run using 5.0 μL blood serum. What is this volume in milliliters?

5.0 × 10 −3 mL

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If an aspirin tablet contains 325 mg aspirin, how many grams of aspirin does it contain?

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Use scientific (exponential) notation to express the following quantities in terms of the SI base units in [link] :

(a) 0.13 g

(b) 232 Gg

(c) 5.23 pm

(d) 86.3 mg

(e) 37.6 cm

(f) 54 μm

(g) 1 Ts

(h) 27 ps

(i) 0.15 mK

(a) 1.3 × 10 −4 kg; (b) 2.32 × 10 8 kg; (c) 5.23 × 10 −12 m; (d) 8.63 × 10 −5 kg; (e) 3.76 × 10 −1 m; (f) 5.4 × 10 −5 m; (g) 1 × 10 12 s; (h) 2.7 × 10 −11 s; (i) 1.5 × 10 −4 K

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Practice Key Terms 3

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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