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Q&A #1834

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

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From: Mary <kipler@verizon.net>
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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