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Check Your Understanding Restate 4.79 × 10 5 kg using a metric prefix such that the resulting number is bigger than one but less than 1000.

4.79 × 10 2 Mg or 479 Mg

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Summary

  • Systems of units are built up from a small number of base units, which are defined by accurate and precise measurements of conventionally chosen base quantities. Other units are then derived as algebraic combinations of the base units.
  • Two commonly used systems of units are English units and SI units. All scientists and most of the other people in the world use SI, whereas nonscientists in the United States still tend to use English units.
  • The SI base units of length, mass, and time are the meter (m), kilogram (kg), and second (s), respectively.
  • SI units are a metric system of units, meaning values can be calculated by factors of 10. Metric prefixes may be used with metric units to scale the base units to sizes appropriate for almost any application.

Conceptual questions

Identify some advantages of metric units.

Conversions between units require factors of 10 only, which simplifies calculations. Also, the same basic units can be scaled up or down using metric prefixes to sizes appropriate for the problem at hand.

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What are the SI base units of length, mass, and time?

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What is the difference between a base unit and a derived unit? (b) What is the difference between a base quantity and a derived quantity? (c) What is the difference between a base quantity and a base unit?

a. Base units are defined by a particular process of measuring a base quantity whereas derived units are defined as algebraic combinations of base units. b. A base quantity is chosen by convention and practical considerations. Derived quantities are expressed as algebraic combinations of base quantities. c. A base unit is a standard for expressing the measurement of a base quantity within a particular system of units. So, a measurement of a base quantity could be expressed in terms of a base unit in any system of units using the same base quantities. For example, length is a base quantity in both SI and the English system, but the meter is a base unit in the SI system only.

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For each of the following scenarios, refer to [link] and [link] to determine which metric prefix on the meter is most appropriate for each of the following scenarios. (a) You want to tabulate the mean distance from the Sun for each planet in the solar system. (b) You want to compare the sizes of some common viruses to design a mechanical filter capable of blocking the pathogenic ones. (c) You want to list the diameters of all the elements on the periodic table. (d) You want to list the distances to all the stars that have now received any radio broadcasts sent from Earth 10 years ago.

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Problems

The following times are given using metric prefixes on the base SI unit of time: the second. Rewrite them in scientific notation without the prefix. For example, 47 Ts would be rewritten as 4.7 × 10 13 s. (a) 980 Ps; (b) 980 fs; (c) 17 ns; (d) 577 μ s .

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The following times are given in seconds. Use metric prefixes to rewrite them so the numerical value is greater than one but less than 1000. For example, 7.9 × 10 −2 s could be written as either 7.9 cs or 79 ms. (a) 9.57 × 10 5 s; (b) 0.045 s; (c) 5.5 × 10 −7 s; (d) 3.16 × 10 7 s.

a. 957 ks; b. 4.5 cs or 45 ms; c. 550 ns; d. 31.6 Ms

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The following lengths are given using metric prefixes on the base SI unit of length: the meter. Rewrite them in scientific notation without the prefix. For example, 4.2 Pm would be rewritten as 4.2 × 10 15 m. (a) 89 Tm; (b) 89 pm; (c) 711 mm; (d) 0.45 μ m .

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The following lengths are given in meters. Use metric prefixes to rewrite them so the numerical value is bigger than one but less than 1000. For example, 7.9 × 10 −2 m could be written either as 7.9 cm or 79 mm. (a) 7.59 × 10 7 m; (b) 0.0074 m; (c) 8.8 × 10 −11 m; (d) 1.63 × 10 13 m.

a. 75.9 Mm; b. 7.4 mm; c. 88 pm; d. 16.3 Tm

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The following masses are written using metric prefixes on the gram. Rewrite them in scientific notation in terms of the SI base unit of mass: the kilogram. For example, 40 Mg would be written as 4 × 10 4 kg. (a) 23 mg; (b) 320 Tg; (c) 42 ng; (d) 7 g; (e) 9 Pg.

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The following masses are given in kilograms. Use metric prefixes on the gram to rewrite them so the numerical value is bigger than one but less than 1000. For example, 7 × 10 −4 kg could be written as 70 cg or 700 mg. (a) 3.8 × 10 −5 kg; (b) 2.3 × 10 17 kg; (c) 2.4 × 10 −11 kg; (d) 8 × 10 15 kg; (e) 4.2 × 10 −3 kg.

a. 3.8 cg or 38 mg; b. 230 Eg; c. 24 ng; d. 8 Eg e. 4.2 g

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 1. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12031/1.5
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