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Unit Conversions

Important Tips

Always write every number with its associated unit.

Always include units in your calculation.

you can do the same kind of operations on units as you can on numbers

using units as a guide to problem solving is called dimensional analysis

Conversion factors are relationships between two units

Conversion factors can be generated from equivalence statements (e.g. 1 inch = 2.54 cm)

Arrange conversion factors so the starting unit is on the bottom of the first conversion factor

Conceptual Plan

given unit ? related unit

given unit = desired unit given unit ? related unit?desired unit

given unit related unit = desired unit

Systematic Approach to Problem Solving

Convert 5.70 L to cubic inches

Sort Information Given: 5.70

Desired: in.3

Strategize Conceptual

Plan L mL cm3 in3

Relationships: 1 mL = 1 cm3, 1 mL = 10-3 L

1 in. = 2.54 cm.

Follow the conceptual plan 1 mL 1 cm3 1 in. 3

to solve the problem Solution: 5.70 L ? 10-3 L ? 1 mL ? 2.54 cm 3 = 347.835 in.3

Sig. figs. and round Round 347.835 in.3 = 348 in.3 (3 sig. fig.)

Check units are correct; number makes sense: in.3

Are G and ML the same?No, They are two different things. 1 ml (millilitre) is a “volume”, it measures how much three-dimensional space an object occupies. 1g (gram) is a “mass”, it measures how much material an object contains. Somethings are more “dense”, meaning that the same amount of material occupies a smaller space - think of the metal Pb.

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