Questions tagged [units]

For questions about the definition and usage of units of measurement.

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34
votes
6answers
4k views

May I treat units (e.g. joules, grams, etc.) in equations as variables?

Suppose I have two units, Tonks, $T$, and Borks, $B$, as well as the equation $\frac{50T}{20B}=x$. May I manipulate the equation as though $T$ and $B$ were the kinds of symbols that we learned to ...
26
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5answers
12k views

Why do we still need to know about the Rankine temperature scale?

I am learning process principles in chemical engineering and I was taught various temperature units like Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin, and Rankine. I see the first three being used quite commonly, but ...
18
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1answer
3k views

How much is 1 mμg?

So I stumbled on a research paper by Okuda and Takedatsu [1] that uses mμg as a symbol for the mass unit. I couldn't find anything about this measure unit anywhere except a recommendation not to use ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a Herzberg?

Whatman lists the flow rates for their filters in a unit called a 'Herzberg': What is this? I've been searching around and I did find information about Herzberg flow rate testers, for example this ...
17
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3answers
3k views

Where does the label ‘Dq’ to denote the field split in coordination compounds come from?

As established in a previous question, coordination compounds typically have a field split between the $\mathrm{t_{2g}}$ and the $\mathrm{e_g}$ d-orbitals.[1] This energy difference can be explained ...
15
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1answer
4k views

Is 1 ppb equal to 1 μg/kg?

In an article I recently submitted, a reviewer asked that I provide a concentration in μg/kg instead of ppb (parts per billion), and mentions that the later is not correct. I am not a chemist, and I ...
14
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1answer
31k views

What is the difference between the units 'torr' and 'mm of Hg'?

According to present definition torr and mm of Hg differ though slightly. I am still confused over it. Can someone write an explicit answer differentiating between them and the reason for ...
14
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2answers
887 views

Is zero-point vibrational energy an intensive or extensive property?

The zero-point vibrational energy (ZPVE) is the non-zero amount of non-electronic energy that molecules have even at zero kelvin and is purely quantum mechanical in nature. For a molecule with $c$ ...
11
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2answers
16k views

What is the correct unit for the equilibrium constant?

I have the following equation $$K_a = \dfrac{c\alpha^2}{1-\alpha},$$ with units $c= \pu{mol/cm^3}$ and $\alpha$ is the same. I'm not sure how to get the correct units for $K_a$. What I have come up ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Can someone intuitively explain the reason for the units of entropy (J/K )? [duplicate]

If entropy is just a measure of the "randomness" or "chaos" of a system, then why does it have specific units. What is the reason behind the units of entropy being J/K?
9
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3answers
5k views

Can Rydberg constant be in joules?

In my textbook (Chemistry Part - I for Class XI published by NCERT), there is an equation for the energy of an electron in an energy state: $$E_n = -R_\mathrm H\left(\frac{1}{n^2}\right)$$ and there ...
9
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2answers
542 views

How to determine omitted units in a publication

I have found a 1954 paper in J. Am. Chem. Soc. which gives various temperatures in degrees but does not specify units. A snippet of the introduction is: Titanium reacts appreciably with fluorine ...
9
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3answers
267 views

Amount of substance expressed in yoctomole units

I stumbled upon a couple of papers where amounts were expressed in yoctomoles ([ymol], $\pu{10^{-24} mol}$) and I find it somewhat bothersome as 1 ymol would correspond to about 60% of atom/molecule/...
9
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3answers
602 views

Units of rate constant (cycles per second vs radians per second) in Eyring equation

In the Eyring equation (EE), $$k = \frac{k_\mathrm B T}{h} \exp\left(\frac{-\Delta G_{\mathrm f}}{RT}\right),$$ the units of $k$ are $\mathrm{s^{-1}}$. However, in general rate constants are usually ...
8
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6answers
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How to correctly write “7 apples” according to the international system of units (SI)

According to international system of units (SI), we can write "7 kg of apples" to refer to the mass of these apples. However, if we want refer to the amount of apples, that is, the number of ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Units of mass on the atomic scale

what are the systems of recording atomic masses and their units? I know that the nucleon number is the number of protons and neutrons I also know that the mass number on the periodic table is the ...
8
votes
1answer
914 views

Effects of Changing Avogadro's Constant

The Avogadro project suggests that we redefine the Avogadro constant to be equal to our best known estimate, $N_\mathrm{A} = 6.02214179 \times 10^{23}$, and redefine the kilogram based on the Avogadro ...
7
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1answer
835 views

What is the unit of Z effective?

Z effective is the net positive charge experienced by an electron. But what is the unit of this net charge: coulomb (C) or microcoulomb (μC), or something else?
7
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2answers
269 views

In biochemistry, when do rate constant units matter in calculating free energy changes?

In my experience, it is always been the ratio of products to reactants that mattered, so as long as your units are consistent; what they are doesn't matter. However, an in-class problem today required ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Why a specific temperature for value of 1 calorie?

Everything in chemistry often comes with a strong reason and facts behind it, but I stuck in definition of $1$ calorie. My reference book define one calorie as amount of heat required to raise the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Units in modified Arrhenius equation?

The modified Arrhenius equation is used to express the rate constant in a chemical mechanism model I'm working with. The equations is as follows: $$k_\mathrm{f} = A\times T^b\times\exp\left(-\frac{E_\...
7
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2answers
2k views

When to use Da or u for mass units

Following up on the question Units of mass on the atomic scale, Daltons (Da) and unified mass units (u) are equivalent, but which is used seems to depend on context. For example, when discussing ...
6
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2answers
2k views

What is the intuition behind 'mol' as a unit 'symbol'

Why are moles written with 'mol' as opposed to something which is easier to write with one character, or even two?
6
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5answers
731 views

Why do the units of rate constants change, and what does that physically mean?

Just to be clear, I do understand that the units of the rate constant k is selected to make the equation dimensionally consistent. That is not what I am asking. It should be the case that k 'means' ...
6
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1answer
631 views

Does adding prefixes to SI units make them no longer SI units?

Our chemistry professor said that "mg for mass, g/m3 for density, ms for time are all SI units". I want to make sure now, even if we added a prefix to the unit, will it still be an SI unit?
6
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1answer
643 views

Which unit should I use for m/z?

I've written m/z 300 - 1100 Thomson in my paper, but the reviewer said that the Th is already deprecated. So in this case, should I write m/z 300 - 1100 Da? or something else?
6
votes
2answers
162 views

Force Fields and units

I am a math student trying to implement a simple force field in python for determining the energy of a small molecule and trying to minimize it in order to find a stable configuration. I was wondering ...
6
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1answer
1k views

What units do I use for energy in the Boltzmann distribution?

I am a mathematics student doing a course in thermodynamics and am working on the basics now. The question I am asked is: Suppose two states differ in energy by one electronvolt. What can be said ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

What advantage is there in reporting the Lennard-Jones well depth in wavenumber units?

The Lennard-Jones well depth $\epsilon$ is typically given in energy units ($\mathrm{kJ}$ or $\mathrm{kcal}$; sometimes per mole). Jasper and Miller, however, reported $\epsilon$ values in reciprocal ...
6
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0answers
95 views

Help with Forster distance conversion for FRET

For my project on Fluorescence, I'm trying to simplify the equation for the Forster distance (I obtained this from the Lakowicz book). To keep track, the units are in square brackets. $$R_0 = \left(\...
5
votes
3answers
496 views

What term should I use when I am quantifying the amount of matter, mass or weight?

I am writing an academic article but I got confused as I am writing about the weight a specific metal got by using balance scale. Should I use the term mass, which has a unit of kg, or weight, which ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

How to retrieve Dalton value from m/z value?

As I understand, Dalton (Da) is the standard way for representing mass unit. As for $m/z$, which is a specific notation for mass spectrometry, quoting for wikipedia: This notation eases data ...
5
votes
2answers
815 views

What are the units of P and V when R is expressed in terms of J/(mol K)?

I have learnt the ideal gas equation $PV=nRT$. However, I have some doubts regarding the units of the quantities in this equation. When we take the gas constant $R=8.314\ \mathrm{J\ mol^{-1}\ K^{-1}}...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

Why the term 'unified' in “unified mass unit”? [closed]

Why different unit symbols - amu, u and dalton are used for representing atomic mass? And what does the term 'unified' mean in "unified mass unit"? Thank you.
5
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1answer
152 views

Dealing with different units (psi) in ideal gas equation

My assignment is as follows: A sample of air is trapped in a container at $\pu{16.2 psi}$. If the initial temperature is increased from $\pu{10 ^\circ C}$ to $\pu{32 ^\circ C}$, what is the final ...
5
votes
1answer
422 views

What's an “amagat”? How is it different from the Loschmidt Number?

At class, we were (briefly) taught about the Loschmidt Number/Constant ($n_0$), which isn't really different from the Wikipedia definition, The Loschmidt constant or Loschmidt's number (symbol: $n_0$)...
4
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4answers
51k views

What does the ‘−1’ superscript mean in units?

For example, the rate of a chemical reaction can be expressed in $\mathrm{mol}/\mathrm{L}^{-1}/\mathrm{sec}^{-1}$. Why is it ‘−1’ and not, say, ‘−2’? Does it change the meaning if the minus is removed ...
4
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2answers
585 views

Relation of pressure and temperature for an ideal gas at constant volume

I have a tank of ideal gas with volume $3.1\ \mathrm L$; I have $R = 8.314$, and 11 moles. The tank is filled at $23\ \mathrm{^\circ C}$ (not sure why that's relevant) and the tank will rupture at $P =...
4
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4answers
2k views

Is the ideal gas constant not a constant if Celsius is used instead of Kelvin? [closed]

For example, Charles' law does not work with Celsius. Why is this? I can only think that the gas constant is not a constant when Celsius is used rather than Kelvin.
4
votes
2answers
263 views

Regarding units of water potential and chemical potential

If water potential is nothing but the chemical potential of a given solution, then why do their units differ? If the unit for the latter is taken as 'Energy per molecule' (which makes sense to me ...
4
votes
3answers
698 views

What is the physical quantity/magnitude of pH?

I have a database to classify variables/parameters in water resources as follows: Variable: Precipitation (P); Quantity: Length; Units of measurement: mm (millimeters). Following the example, what ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How is sulfuric acid with a concentration of 12 M also 72% w/w?

According to LabChem, $12~\mathrm{M}$ of $\ce{H2SO4}$ is $72~\mathrm{w/w\%}$. When I try to convert $12~\mathrm{M}$ of $\ce{H2SO4}$ to $\mathrm{w/w\%}$ I get $117\%$ which is obviously wrong. $$\...
4
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1answer
146 views

Heat Transfer Coefficient Problem

The Problem An unusual reference gives the formula below for the heat transfer coefficient of an emulsion. $$H = 0.0061\left(X^{0.6} + 0.038T\right)\cdot V^{0.35}$$ In the formula $T$ is the ...
4
votes
2answers
648 views

Why is the equilibrium constant unitless?

I read that the equilibrium constant is unitless because the molar activities of each of the species are used in the equilibrium expression, not the actual concentrations themselves. I understand that....
4
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1answer
74 views

Is the kilogram still consistent with the old definition?

My old understanding was that a gram is the amount of mass in a cubic centimeter of water. But then I recently learned that the second was redefined to be some 9 billion cycles of a Caesium atom. ...
4
votes
1answer
473 views

Is it possible for me to derive Avogadro's number?

To my understanding the mole is the unit used to translate between mass on the atomic level and mass in the macro level, defined as the number of atoms in $12$ grams of Carbon-$12$, which apparently ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How to convert ppm to g/m3?

I'm not very comfortable with chemistry and I need to convert $\ce{CH4}$ concentration values in $\pu{ppm}$ to $\pu{g/m3}$. Is that possible? I've already researched a bit and realised that for water ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Do all conversion factors have an infinite number of significant figures?

I believe conversion factors have an infinite number of significant figures. They should be exact values; but not all of them are, are they? I looked at a pdf document (via the Internet Archive) and ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

SI Units for Isothermal Incompressibility and Specific heat capacity at constant volume

I am looking for the SI units of isothermal incompressibility and specific heat capacity at constant volume. What I found was that isothermal compression was measured in " $\mathrm{m^2}\ \mathrm{N^{-...
4
votes
1answer
782 views

How to compute the residence time for given flow rate in standard cubic meters?

I'm given a flow rate of a gas mixture of $3\ \mathrm{Nm^3/h}$ in standard cubic meters through a cylinder of length $50\ \mathrm{cm}$ and cross section $70\ \mathrm{cm^2}$, can I compute how long a ...