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Let us consider a simple example of how to convert units. Let us say that we want to convert 80 meters (m) to kilometers (km).

The first thing to do is to list the units that you have and the units that you want to convert to. In this case, we have units in meters and we want to convert to kilometers .

Next, we need to determine a conversion factor    relating meters to kilometers. A conversion factor is a ratio expressing how many of one unit are equal to another unit. For example, there are 12 inches in 1 foot, 100 centimeters in 1 meter, 60 seconds in 1 minute, and so on. In this case, we know that there are 1,000 meters in 1 kilometer.

Now we can set up our unit conversion. We will write the units that we have and then multiply them by the conversion factor so that the units cancel out, as shown:

80 m × 1 km 1000 m = 0 .080 km. size 12{"80"" m" times { {"1 km"} over {"1000 m"} } =0 "." "080"`"km"} {}

Note that the unwanted m unit cancels, leaving only the desired km unit. You can use this method to convert between any types of unit.

Click [link] for a more complete list of conversion factors.

Approximate values of length, mass, and time
Lengths in meters Masses in kilograms (more precise values in parentheses) Times in seconds (more precise values in parentheses)
10 18 Present experimental limit to smallest observable detail 10 30 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "30"} } } {} Mass of an electron 9 . 11 × 10 31  kg size 12{9 "." "11" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - "31"} } `"kg"} {} 10 23 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "23"} } } {} Time for light to cross a proton
10 15 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "15"} } } {} Diameter of a proton 10 27 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "27"} } } {} Mass of a hydrogen atom 1 . 67 × 10 27  kg size 12{1 "." "67" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - "27"} } `"kg"} {} 10 22 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "22"} } } {} Mean life of an extremely unstable nucleus
10 14 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "14"} } } {} Diameter of a uranium nucleus 10 15 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "15"} } } {} Mass of a bacterium 10 15 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "15"} } } {} Time for one oscillation of visible light
10 10 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "10"} } } {} Diameter of a hydrogen atom 10 5 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - 5} } } {} Mass of a mosquito 10 13 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - "13"} } } {} Time for one vibration of an atom in a solid
10 8 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {} Thickness of membranes in cells of living organisms 10 2 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - 2} } } {} Mass of a hummingbird 10 8 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {} Time for one oscillation of an FM radio wave
10 6 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - 6} } } {} Wavelength of visible light 1 size 12{"1"} {} Mass of a liter of water (about a quart) 10 3 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - 3} } } {} Duration of a nerve impulse
10 3 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{ - 3} } } {} Size of a grain of sand 10 2 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{2} } } {} Mass of a person 1 size 12{"1"} {} Time for one heartbeat
1 size 12{"1"} {} Height of a 4-year-old child 10 3 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{3} } } {} Mass of a car 10 5 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{5} } } {} One day 8 . 64 × 10 4 s size 12{8 "." "64" times "10" rSup { size 8{4} } `s} {}
10 2 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{2} } } {} Length of a football field 10 8 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{8} } } {} Mass of a large ship 10 7 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{7} } } {} One year (y) 3 . 16 × 10 7 s size 12{3 "." "16" times "10" rSup { size 8{7} } `s} {}
10 4 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{4} } } {} Greatest ocean depth 10 12 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"12"} } } {} Mass of a large iceberg 10 9 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{9} } } {} About half the life expectancy of a human
10 7 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{7} } } {} Diameter of the Earth 10 15 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"15"} } } {} Mass of the nucleus of a comet 10 11 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"11"} } } {} Recorded history
10 11 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"11"} } } {} Distance from the Earth to the Sun 10 23 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"23"} } } {} Mass of the Moon 7 . 35 × 10 22  kg size 12{7 "." "35" times "10" rSup { size 8{"22"} } `"kg"} {} 10 17 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"17"} } } {} Age of the Earth
10 16 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"16"} } } {} Distance traveled by light in 1 year (a light year) 10 25 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"25"} } } {} Mass of the Earth 5 . 97 × 10 24  kg size 12{5 "." "97" times "10" rSup { size 8{"24"} } `"kg"} {} 10 18 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"18"} } } {} Age of the universe
10 21 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"21"} } } {} Diameter of the Milky Way galaxy 10 30 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"30"} } } {} Mass of the Sun 1 . 99 × 10 30  kg size 12{1 "." "99" times "10" rSup { size 8{"30"} } `"kg"} {}
10 22 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"22"} } } {} Distance from the Earth to the nearest large galaxy (Andromeda) 10 42 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"42"} } } {} Mass of the Milky Way galaxy (current upper limit)
10 26 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"26"} } } {} Distance from the Earth to the edges of the known universe 10 53 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"53"} } } {} Mass of the known universe (current upper limit)

Unit conversions: a short drive home

Suppose that you drive the 10.0 km from your university to home in 20.0 min. Calculate your average speed (a) in kilometers per hour (km/h) and (b) in meters per second (m/s). (Note: Average speed is distance traveled divided by time of travel.)

Questions & Answers

what is math number
Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
x+2y-z=7
Sidiki
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
-1
Shedrak
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
Moses Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Akash
College algebra is really hard?
Shirleen Reply
Absolutely, for me. My problems with math started in First grade...involving a nun Sister Anastasia, bad vision, talking & getting expelled from Catholic school. When it comes to math I just can't focus and all I can hear is our family silverware banging and clanging on the pink Formica table.
Carole
I'm 13 and I understand it great
AJ
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Atone
hi
Adu
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
Vedant
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
salma
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
Abhi
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
Augustine
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
AJ
how
Sheref
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
ninjadapaul
20/(×-6^2)
Salomon
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
ninjadapaul
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
ninjadapaul
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
Salomon
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
Salomon
I got X =-6
Salomon
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
ninjadapaul
oops. ignore that.
ninjadapaul
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
ninjadapaul
hmm
Abhi
is it a question of log
Abhi
🤔.
Abhi
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
salma
But this is not salma it's Faiza live in lousvile Ky I garbage this so I am going collage with JCTC that the of the collage thank you my friends
salma
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
hello
Sherica
im all ears I need to learn
Sherica
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
Tamia
hii
Uday
hi
salma
hi
Ayuba
Hello
opoku
hi
Ali
greetings from Iran
Ali
salut. from Algeria
Bach
hi
Nharnhar
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
Shanjida
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
s.
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Kinematics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 11, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11878/1.5
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