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Measurements and Conversions

Multiply by 1
To convert units, theres only one other thing you need to bear in mind:

You can multiply anything by 1 and not change its value.


Obvious, right? So why mention it? I hear you ask. Because multiplying by 1a
carefully chosen form of 1is the key to converting units.
Let me illustrate with an example. Ill deliberately pick an easy one, one you could
probably do in your head, so that I can show the steps excruciatingly clearly.
Example:
Sample Problem:
Suppose you want to convert four and a half hours to minutes.
Solution:
First, find its conversion factor.
60 minutes = 1 hour

Now divide both sides by 1 hour. (Remember you can do this because
you treat the unit hour just like a variable. If you had 60x = 1y, you
could certainly divide both sides by 1y.) After dividing, you have

60
=1
1
Why did I do that? Because if (60 min)/(1 hr) = 1, then I can multiply
any measurement by that fraction and not change its value. (Ill
explaina little later why I divided through by 1 hr and not 60 min.) So go
back to the 4 hours that we wanted to convert to minutes. To do the
conversion, simply multiply by that well-chosen form of 1:

4.5 hr
which is the same as

4.5

60
1

Now, x times y/z is the same as xy/z, so our units expression is the
same as

(4.5 )(60 )
1
Cancel out the same unit.

(4.5 )(60 )
1
Notice that you have hours (hr) in both top and bottom. Just as you
would divide through by x when x was in both top and bottom, so you
can divide through by the variable hr:

(4.5)(60 )
1
which multiplies out to

270
Summary: to convert units, construct a fraction that is equal to 1, multiply the original
measurement by that fraction, and simplify.

Conversion Factors
Length
1 kilometer (km)

1 meter (m)

100 centimeter (cm)

1000 meters (m)

1 centimeter (cm)

10-2m

1 millimeter (mm)

10-3m

1 micron ()

10-6m

1 millimicron (m)
1 angstrom (A)
1 inch (in.)

1 mil

2,540 cm

1 mile (mi)

10-10m

1 foot (ft)

10-9m

30,48 cm
=

1,609 km

10-3 in.

1 centimeter

1 meter

39,37 in.

0,3937 in.

1 kilometer = 0,6214 mile

Area
1 square meter (m2)

1 square mile (mi2)


1 square foot (ft2)
1 acre

=
=

10,76 ft2
640 acres
929 cm2

43,560ft2

Volume
1 liter (l)

1000cm3

1,057 quart (qt)

61,02 in3

0,03532 ft3

1 cubic meter (m3)


1 cubic foot (ft3)

1000 l

1 U.S. gallon (gal)


1 British gallon

35,32 ft3

7,481 U.S.gal
231 in3

0,02832 m3

28,32 l

3,785 l

1,201 U.S.gallon

2,2046 pounds (lb)

277,4 in3

Mass
1 kilogram (kg)
1 lb

453,6 gm

1 slug

32,174 lb

0,06852 slug;

0,03108 slug
=

14,59 kg

Speed
1 km/h
1mi/h

0,2778 m/sec

1,467 ft/sec

=
=

0,6214 mi/h
1,609 km/h

0,9113 ft/sec

0,4470 m/sec

Density
1 gm/cm3
1 lb/ft3

103 kg/m3

1,940 slug/ft3

0,01602 gm/cm3

1 slug/ft3

62,43 lb/ft3

0,5154 gm/cm3

Force
1 newton (nt)

105 dynes

1 pound weight (lbwt)

1 kilogram weight (kgwt)

4,448 nt
=

1 U.S.short ton

1 long ton

2240 lbwt

1 metric ton

=
=

2,205 lbwt

2000 lbwt

2205 lbwt

0,1020 kgwt

0,4536 kgwt
=

9,807 nt

0,2248 lbwt
=

32,17 poundals

Energy
1 joule
=
1 nt
9,481 X 10-4 Btu
1 ft lbwt

107 ergs

1,356 joules

1 calorie (cal)

0,7376 ft lbwt

0,3239 cal

4,186 joules

1 kilowatt hour (kw h)

3,60 X 106 joules

1 electron volt (ev)

=
=

778 ft lbwt

0,2389 cal

1,285 X 10-3 Btu

3,087 ft lbwt

1 Btu (British thermal unit)

3,968 X 10-3 Btu

1055 joules

860,0 kcal

0,2389 cal/sec

0,293 watt h

3413 Btu

1,602 X 10-19 joule

Power
1 watt

1 joule/sec

1 horsepower (hp)
1 kilowatt (kw)

107 ergs/sec

550 ft lbwt/sec

1,341 hp

33,000 ft lbwt /min

737,6 ft lbwt/sec

745,7 watts

0,9483 Btu/sec

Pressure
1 nt/m2
1 lbwt/in2

10 dynes/cm2

=
=

6895 nt/m2

1 atmosphere (atm)
14,70 lbwt/in2
=

=
=

9,869 X 10-6 atmosphere


5,171 cm mercury

2,089 X 10-2 lbwt/ft2

27,68 in water

=
1,013 X 1015 nt/m2
=
1,013 X 1015 dynes/cm2
76 cm mercury
=
406,8 in.water

Time
Temperature
To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit, first multiply by 9/5, then add 32.
To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, first subtract 32, then multiply by 5/9

Celsius to Kelvin conversion formula


The temperature T in Kelvin (K) is equal to the temperature T in degrees Celsius (C) plus 273.15:

T(K) = T(C) + 273.15

COMMON UNIT OF MEASURE CONVERSIONS

Length

TYPE OF MEASURE
Square
Cubic &
Measures
Volume
Measures

Weights

Temperature

COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS


Abbreviations may stand for singular or plural usage
cm = centimeter
cu. = cubic
ft. = foot
gl. = gallon (US)
gr. = gram
Imp. = Imperial
in. = inch
kg. = kilogram
km. = kilometer
l. = liter
lb. = pound
m. = meter
mi. = mile
oz. = ounce
qt. = quart
std. = standard
US = United States
yd. = yard

LENGTH MEASURES
Common Usage
Type

Reciprocal Value

1 ft. = 12 in..

1 in. = 0.0833 ft.

1 yd. = 3 ft.

1 ft. = 0.3333 yd.

1 rod = 5.5000 yd.

1 yd. = 0.1818 rods

1 furlong = 40 rods

1 rod = 0.0250 furlongs

1 mile = 8 furlongs

1 furlong = 0.1250 mi.

1 mi. = 5,280 ft.

1 ft. = 0.000189 mi.

1 mi. = 1,760 yd.

1 yd. = 0.000568 mi.

Abbr

1 fathom = 6 ft.

1 ft. = 0.1667 fathom

120 fathoms = 1 cable

1 cable = 0.00833 fathoms

1 league = 3 mi.

1 mi. = 0.3333 leagues

1 nautical mi. = 6076.11 ft.

1 ft. = 0.000165 natical mi.

1 hand = 4 in. (equestrian)

1 in. = 0.2500 hands

METRIC
1 in. = 2.54 cm.

1 cm. = 0.3937 in.

1 ft. = 30.48 cm.

1 cm. = 0.0328 ft.

1 m. = 3.2808 ft.

1 ft. = 0.3048 m.

1 m. = 39.37 in.

1 in. = 0.0254 m.

1 m. = 1.0936 yd.

1 yd. = 0.9144 m.

1 rod = 5.029 m.

1 m. = 0.1988 rod

1 km = 1000 m.

1 m. = 0.001 km.

1 km = 0.621 mi.

1 mi. = 1.6103 km.

SQUARE MEASURES
Common Usage
Type

Reciprocal Value

1 sq. ft. = 144 sq. in.

1 sq. in = 0.0069 sq. in.

1 sq. yd. = 9 sq. ft.

1 sq. ft. = 0.1111 sq. yd.

1 sq. rod = 30.25 sq. yd.

1 sq. yd. = 0.0331 sq. rods

1 sq. mi. = 640 acres

1 acre = 0.0016 sq. mi.

Abbr

METRIC
1 sq. cm. = 0.1550 sq. in.

1 sq. in. = 6.452 sq. cm.

1 sq. ft. = 0.0929 sq. m.

1 sq. m. = 10.7643 sq. ft.

1 sq. m. = 1.196 sq. yd.

1 sq. yd. = 0.8361 sq. m.

1 hectare = 2.47 acres

1 acre = 0.4049 hectares

1 sq. km. = 0.386 sq. mi.

1 sq. mi. = 2.59 sq. km.

CUBIC & VOLUME MEASURES


Common Usage
Type

Reciprocal Value

1 cu. ft. = 1,728 cu. In

1 cu. in. = 0.0005787 cu. ft.

1 cu. yd. = 27 cu. ft.

1 cu. ft. = 0.0370 cu. yd.

1 cord (wood) = 128 cu. ft.

1 cu. ft. = 0.0078 cord

1 US std. gal. = 231 cu. in.

1 cu. in. = 0.00016 US std. gal.

METRIC
1 cu. in. = 16.39 cu. cm.

1 cu. cm. = 0.0610 cu. in.

1 cu. m. = 35.3357 cu. ft.

1 cu. ft. = 0.0283 cu. m.

1 cu. m. = 1.308 cu. yd.

1 cu. yd. = 0.7646 cu. m.

Abbr

DRY MEASURES
1 qt. = 2 pints

1 pint = 0.5000 qt.

1 peck = 8 qt.

1 qt. = 0.1250 peck

1 bushel = 4 pecks

1 peck = 0.2500 bushels

METRIC
1 qt. dry = 1.101 l.

1 l. = 0.908 qt. dry

1 peck = 8.810 l.

1 l. = 0.1135 peck

1 hectoliter = 2.8375 bushels

1 bushel = 0.3524 hectoliters

LIQUID MEASURES
1 pint = 2 cup

1 cup = 0.5000 pints

1 qt. = 2 pints

1 pints = 0.5000 qt.

1 gl. = 4 qt.

1 qt. = 0.2500 gl.

1 gl. = 8 pints

1 pint = 0.125000 gl.

1 barrel = 31.5 gl.

1 gl. = 0.0317 barrel

IMPERIAL & METRIC LIQUID MEASURE


1 US gl. = 0.833 Imp. gl.

1 Imp. gl. = 1.201 US gl.

1 Imp. gl. = 4.546 l.

1 l. = 0.2200 Imp. gl.

1 l. = 0.264 US gl.

1 US gl. = 3.7879 l.

1 l. = 1.0567 qt. Liquid

1 qt. liquid = 0.9463 l.

1 gl. = 3.7854 l.

1 l. = 0.2642 gl.

WEIGHT MEASURES
Common Usage
Type

Reciprocal Value

1 lb. = 16 oz.

1 oz. = 0.0625 lb.

1 ton = 2000 lb.

1 lb. = 0.0005 ton

Abbr

METRIC
1 oz. = 28.35 gr.

1 gr. = 0.03527 oz.

1 kg = 1000 gm

1 gr. = 0.001 kg.

1 lb. = 0.4536 kg.

1 kg. = 2.2046 lb.

1 metric ton = 0.9842 English ton

1 English ton = 1.016 metric tons

Temperature
Celcius or Centigrade
Type

Fahrenheit

1 degree Celcius (C)

= 5/9 x (F - 32)

(9/5 x C) + 32

= 1 degree Fahrenheit (F)

Abbr

More Complete Conversion Factors