Q&A #1834

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Dimensional analysis of measurements in Metric system

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From: Mary

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2006090317:20:49
Subject: Re: Help

Dimensional analysis works with the metric system or any measurement system. You just need to know what unit you have, and what unit you want to end up with. For example, "How many centimeters are in 482 meters?" You HAVE 482 meters. You WANT centimeters. So, you need to multiply this way: 482 meters X 100 centimeters/meter. This allows the unit "meter" to cancel out - top and bottom eliminate each other - and leaves only the unit "centimeters." You COULD set this up wrongly, as 482 meters X 1 meter/100 centimeters... but then your final unit would be m2/cm... which makes it obviously wrong. Hope that helps! MBC

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