MATH - SCIENCE INTEGRATION

bullet1 CONVERSION FACTORS AND DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS

bullet2 What is a conversion factor?

Definition:
A conversion factor   is a ratio written in fraction form that can express the same value or quantity in two different units.
EXAMPLE :

1foot = 12 in. = 1     
 12in.    1foot  
       
OR


1 day      =  24 hours  = 1
24 hours       1 day
             



  

 



bullet3 Use of conversion factors

Why use conversion factors?
Many times, we can figure simple conversions in our head or with a one step multiplication calculation.  But there are many complex conversions that require several conversions between many units.

 By using the correct conversions between the units and the dimensional analysis method (also know as factor labeling), we can set up the conversion factors and calculate a solution in one problem.


While the metric system allows us to easily move from one unit to another, many chemistry and physics problems use units that are complicated.  
Now let's look at dimensional analysis!