# 1.9 Physical quantities and units  (Page 3/18)

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Electric current and its accompanying unit, the ampere, will be introduced in Introduction to Electric Current, Resistance, and Ohm's Law when electricity and magnetism are covered. The initial modules in this textbook are concerned with mechanics, fluids, heat, and waves. In these subjects all pertinent physical quantities can be expressed in terms of the fundamental units of length, mass, and time.

## Metric prefixes

SI units are part of the metric system    . The metric system is convenient for scientific and engineering calculations because the units are categorized by factors of 10. [link] gives metric prefixes and symbols used to denote various factors of 10.

Metric systems have the advantage that conversions of units involve only powers of 10. There are 100 centimeters in a meter, 1000 meters in a kilometer, and so on. In nonmetric systems, such as the system of U.S. customary units, the relationships are not as simple—there are 12 inches in a foot, 5280 feet in a mile, and so on. Another advantage of the metric system is that the same unit can be used over extremely large ranges of values simply by using an appropriate metric prefix. For example, distances in meters are suitable in construction, while distances in kilometers are appropriate for air travel, and the tiny measure of nanometers are convenient in optical design. With the metric system there is no need to invent new units for particular applications.

The term order of magnitude    refers to the scale of a value expressed in the metric system. Each power of $\text{10}$ in the metric system represents a different order of magnitude. For example, ${\text{10}}^{1},\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{10}}^{2},\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{10}}^{3}$ , and so forth are all different orders of magnitude. All quantities that can be expressed as a product of a specific power of $\text{10}$ are said to be of the same order of magnitude. For example, the number $\text{800}$ can be written as $8×{\text{10}}^{2}$ , and the number $\text{450}$ can be written as $4.5×{\text{10}}^{2}.$ Thus, the numbers $\text{800}$ and $\text{450}$ are of the same order of magnitude: ${\text{10}}^{2}.$ Order of magnitude can be thought of as a ballpark estimate for the scale of a value. The diameter of an atom is on the order of while the diameter of the Sun is on the order of

## The quest for microscopic standards for basic units

The fundamental units described in this chapter are those that produce the greatest accuracy and precision in measurement. There is a sense among physicists that, because there is an underlying microscopic substructure to matter, it would be most satisfying to base our standards of measurement on microscopic objects and fundamental physical phenomena such as the speed of light. A microscopic standard has been accomplished for the standard of time, which is based on the oscillations of the cesium atom.

The standard for length was once based on the wavelength of light (a small-scale length) emitted by a certain type of atom, but it has been supplanted by the more precise measurement of the speed of light. If it becomes possible to measure the mass of atoms or a particular arrangement of atoms such as a silicon sphere to greater precision than the kilogram standard, it may become possible to base mass measurements on the small scale. There are also possibilities that electrical phenomena on the small scale may someday allow us to base a unit of charge on the charge of electrons and protons, but at present current and charge are related to large-scale currents and forces between wires.

#### Questions & Answers

who was the first nanotechnologist
k
Veysel
technologist's thinker father is Richard Feynman but the literature first user scientist Nario Tagunichi.
Veysel
Norio Taniguchi
puvananathan
Interesting
Andr
I need help
Richard
@Richard Is that Richard Feynman
Vince
anyone have book of Abdel Salam Hamdy Makhlouf book in pdf Fundamentals of Nanoparticles: Classifications, Synthesis
what happen with The nano material on The deep space.?
It could change the whole space science.
puvananathan
the characteristics of nano materials can be studied by solving which equation?
sibaram
synthesis of nano materials by chemical reaction taking place in aqueous solvents under high temperature and pressure is call?
sibaram
hydrothermal synthesis
ISHFAQ
how can chip be made from sand
is this allso about nanoscale material
Almas
are nano particles real
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
no can't
Lohitha
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
William
currently
William
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
what about nanotechnology for water purification
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
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
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
STM - Scanning Tunneling Microscope.
puvananathan
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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