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AppendixDUnits of Measure

Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
m meter

the distance light travels in \(\sfrac{1}{299792458}\) of a second

half the height of a typical doorway

mm millimeter

exactly \(\sfrac{1}{1000}\) of a meter

the thickness of a credit card

cm centimeter

exactly \(\sfrac{1}{100}\) of a meter

the width of your pinky finger

km kilometer

exactly \(1000\) meters

in parts of Portland where the city blocks are square, about \(12.5\) blocks

in inch

exactly \(0.0254\) meters

the diameter of a bottle cap

ft foot

exactly \(12\) inches

the exterior length of an average adult male's shoe

mi mile

exactly \(5280\) feet

in parts of Portland where the city blocks are square, about \(20\) blocks

TableD.0.19Distance
Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
cm2 square centimeter

the area of a square whose sides are each one centimeter

a little less than the circular area of a new pencil eraser

in2 square inch

the area of a square whose sides are each one inch

the area of a photograph on an ID card

TableD.0.20Area
Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
cm3 cubic centimeter

the volume of a cube whose sides are each one centimeter

the volume of a blueberry

L liter

exactly \(1000\) cubic centimeters

a bottle of wine is \(\sfrac{3}{4}\) of a liter

mL milliliter

exactly \(1\) cubic centimeter; \(\sfrac{1}{1000}\) of a liter

the volume of a blueberry

in3 cubic inch

the volume of a cube whose sides are each one inch

the volume of an shelled whole walnut

gal liter

exactly \(231\) cubic inches

the volume of the larger type of plastic milk containers sold in supermarkets

TableD.0.21Volume
Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
s second

the duration of \(9192631770\) periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium-133 atom

the time it takes you to say the phrase “differential calculus”

min minute

exactly \(60\) seconds

how long it takes to microwave a full dinner plate from the refrigerator

h hour

exactly \(3600\) seconds; exactly \(60\) minutes

the length of one episode of a premium cable television show

TableD.0.22Time
Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
mph mile per hour

exactly one mile per hour

a typical walking speed is about three miles per hour

TableD.0.23Speed
Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
kg kilogram

the mass of a certain cylindrical object made of a platinum-iridium alloy called the International Prototype of the Kilogram, which is stored in Sèvres, France

the mass of a \(500\)-page paperback book

mg milligram

exactly \(\sfrac{1}{1000000}\) of a kilogram

the mass of a small snowflake

TableD.0.24Mass
Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
rad radian

the angle subtended at the center of a circle by an arc that is equal in length to the radius of the circle

a little less than the angles on an equilateral triangle

° degree

the angle subtended at the center of a circle by an arc whose length is \(\sfrac{1}{360}\) the circumference of the circle

a very small angle; if you could look directly at the bottom of the sun, and then moved your eyes to look at the top of the sun, you would have moved your eyes about half of one degree

TableD.0.25Angle
Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
N newton

the force needed to accelerate one kilogram from rest up to a speed of one meter per second with one second of time

if you hold an apple in the palm of your hand, it applies about two newtons of force

TableD.0.26Force
Unit Stands For Definition Roughly
kW kilowatt

the power to transfer one thousand joules of energy in one second (one joule is the amount of energy used when one newton of force pushes an object one meter)

the power used by a nicer microwave oven

TableD.0.27Power