<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

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

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Kinematics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 11, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11878/1.5
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Kinematics' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask