*Study Guide: *Units of Measurement in Science

Produced by Graham Currell, University of the West of England, Bristol and Rossana Wright, University of Nottingham, in association with:, and

● Royal Society of Chemistry, 'Discover Maths for Chemists' website

*●*

**Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Science**, 2nd Edition**Graham Currell and Antony Dowman, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009**

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This study unit aims to develop the skills for handling units in science. This is achieved by a series of **video tips** and associated **QVA tutorials - questions **with **video worked answers**.

**Introduction**

Video Introduction

Download: ‘Units in Science’ (pdf file)

**1. Using SI prefixes: **

QVA tutorial

Video Tip: If you need to end up with the power, 10* ^{x}*, as the required prefix, then multiply the 'unit' expression by 10

^{-x}×10

*(which just equals 1)*

^{x}**2. Basic unit conversion: **

QVA tutorial

Video Tip: Rearrange the conversion equation to get a value of 1.0 for the *starting unit *on the LHS of the conversion.

**3. Handling ‘power’ units: **

QVA tutorial

Video Tip: It is important to include the *appropriate power* of ten in the unit conversion.

Video Tip: Units with *negative* powers can be evaluated by putting the unit in the denominator of the expression.

**4. Conversion of combined units: **

QVA tutorial

Video Tip: Perform combined conversions one step at a time.

**5. Using ‘units’ to understand equations: **

QVA tutorial

Video Tip: Use the fact that the units on both sides of an equation must have the same base units.

**6. Examples of using units in science: **

QVA tutorial - *pV = RT*

**Any comments, corrections or suggestions welcome** - graham.currell@uwe.ac.uk