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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 variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
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 did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit 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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