Table of Contents
- Physical Quantity
- SI Units
- SI Base Units
- SI Derived Units
- Other Units
- Practical Units
- Measuring Devices
A physical quantity is a physical property of a phenomenon, body, or substance, that can be quantified by measurement.
- A physical quantity can be expressed as the combination of a magnitude (expressed by a number – usually a real number) and a unit.
Unit of measurement
A unit of measurement is a definite magnitude of a quantity, defined and adopted by convention or by law, that is used as a standard for measurement of the same kind of quantity.
International System of Units (SI Units)
The International System of Units (SI, abbreviated from the French Système international (d’unités)) is the modern form of the metric system, and is the most widely used system of measurement.
- It comprises a coherent system of units of measurement built on 7 base units and a set of 20 prefixes to the unit names and unit symbols that may be used when specifying multiples and fractions of the units.
- The system also specifies names for 22 derived units.
SI Base Units
|mol||mole||amount of substance|
Important SI Derived Units
|J||joule||energy, work, heat|
|W||watt||power, radiant flux|
|V||volt||voltage (electric potential), emf|
|Ω||ohm||resistance, impedance, reactance|
|T||tesla||magnetic flux density|
Other Important Units
|intensity of Sound||decibel (dB)|
|magnetic field strength||A m-1|
|relative density||no units|
|momentum||kg m s-1|
Important Practical Units
- Astronomical Unit (au): Distance Between the centre of Earth and the centre of the Sun (1 au = 1.5 x 1011 m)
- Light Year (ly): Distance travelled by light in vacuum in one year.
- 1 Angstrom = 10-10 m
mass & weight
- The largest practical unit of mass is Chandrasekhar limit (CSL).
- Atomic or nuclear masses are made in terms of a unit called amu (atomic mass unit).
1 CSL = 1.4 times the mass of sun. 1 metric ton = 1000 kg Quintal = 100 kg Slug = 14.57 kg
Important Measuring Devices
- tensiometer: To measure soil-moisture tension (matric water potential)
- hygrometer: To measure humidity in the atmosphere
- hydrometer: To measure the density of liquids
- fathometer: To measure depth of oceans
- anemometer: To measure the speed of the wind, or of any current of gas
- pyrometer: To measure high temperatures, especially in furnaces and kilns.
- barometer: To measure atmospheric pressure
- lactometer: To measure the density of milk
- sphygmomanometer: To measure blood pressure
- Karatmeter : To measure the purity of gold
- luxmeter: To measure intensity of luminescence/ light
- seismograph (seismometer): To measure motion of the ground (based on Richter magnitude scale)
- polygraph (lie detector): To measure and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity while a person is asked and answers a series of questions.
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