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# Units and Measurements In earlier times, different systems of units for measurement were used by scientists such as the

## CGS, the FPS, and the MKS system.

The international system of units (SI) is based on seven base units (metre, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, candela), which is an internationally accepted unit system and is widely used throughout the world. In earlier times, different systems of units for measurement were used by scientists such as the CGS, the FPS, and the MKS system.

The international system of units (SI) is based on seven base units (metre, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, candela), which is an internationally accepted unit system and is widely used throughout the world. Measurement of length SI unit is metre (m). For measurement of large distances, parallax method is used.

Units for expressing large distances are light year, Astronomical unit (AU), and parsec. 1 light year = 9.46 1015 m 1 AU = 1.5 10 11 m 1 Parsec = 3.26 light years = 3.08 1016 m

Units used to express small distances: 1 micron (1 mm) = 106 m 1 nanometre (1 nm) = 109 m 1 angstrom (1A0 ) = 1010 m 1 fermi (1 fm) = 1015 m

Measurement of Time SI unit is second. Techniques Electrical oscillators, electronic oscillators, quartz-crystal clocks, atomic clocks

Measurement of length SI unit is metre (m). For measurement of large distances, parallax method is used.

Units for expressing large distances are light year, Astronomical unit (AU), and parsec. 1 light year = 9.46 1015 m 1 AU = 1.5 10 11 m 1 Parsec = 3.26 light years = 3.08 1016 m

Units used to express small distances: 1 micron (1 mm) = 106 m 1 nanometre (1 nm) = 109 m

## 1 angstrom (1A0 ) = 1010 m 1 fermi (1 fm) = 1015 m

Measurement of Time SI unit is second. Techniques Electrical oscillators, electronic oscillators, quartz-crystal clocks, atomic clocks

Types of Error Systematic error 1. Error due to the instruments 2. Imperfect experimental procedure 3. Errors due to individual carelessness Random error

Ways of Expressing an Error Absolute error: Magnitude of the difference between the actual value of the quantity and the individual measured value Relative error: Ratio of the mean absolute error(D measured ) to the value of the quantity being

## Relative error Percentage error:

Percentage error

Types of Error Systematic error 1. Error due to the instruments 2. Imperfect experimental procedure 3. Errors due to individual carelessness Random error

Ways of Expressing an Error Absolute error: Magnitude of the difference between the actual value of the quantity and the individual measured value Relative error: Ratio of the mean absolute error(D measured ) to the value of the quantity being

## Relative error Percentage error:

Percentage error

Combination of errors Consider two quantities A and B, which have measured values (A DA) and (B DB) respectively. Here, DA and DB are the absolute errors in A and B respectively. The absolute error DZ in each of the following cases is listed below:

When the result involves the sum of two observed quantities, that is Z = A + B, then DZ = DADB When the result involves the difference of two observed quantities, that is Z = A B, then DZ = DADB When the result involves the product of two observed quantities, that is Z = AB, then When the result involves the quotient of two observed quantities, that is , then When the result involves the product of some powers of the measured values, that is Z = An Bm, then

Then, Rules for determining the number of significant figures: All non-zero digits are significant. All zeroes between two non-zero digits are significant. Zeroes preceding the first non-zero digits are not significant. Zeroes at the end or right of a number are significant, provided they are on the right side of the decimal point. If the number is less than 1, then the zero(s) on the right of the decimal point and left of the first non-zero digit are not significant. (For example: In 0.0013, the underlined zeroes are not

significant)

Rules for arithmetic operations with significant figures For addition and subtraction, the result cannot have more digits to the right of the decimal point than either of the original numbers. In multiplication or division, the final result should retain as many significant figures as there are in the measurement with the least significant figures.

Rules for determining the number of significant figures: All non-zero digits are significant. All zeroes between two non-zero digits are significant. Zeroes preceding the first non-zero digits are not significant. Zeroes at the end or right of a number are significant, provided they are on the right side of the decimal point. If the number is less than 1, then the zero(s) on the right of the decimal point and left of the first non-zero digit are not significant. (For example: In 0.0013, the underlined zeroes are not significant)

Rules for arithmetic operations with significant figures For addition and subtraction, the result cannot have more digits to the right of the decimal point than either of the original numbers. In multiplication or division, the final result should retain as many significant figures as there are in the measurement with the least significant figures.

Rules for rounding off the uncertain digits If the rightmost digit to be removed is more than 5, then the preceding number is increased by 1. If the rightmost digit to be removed is less than 5, then the preceding number is not changed. If the rightmost digit to be removed is 5, then the preceding number is not changed if it is an even number, but it is increased by one if it is an odd number.

Rules for rounding off the uncertain digits If the rightmost digit to be removed is more than 5, then the preceding number is increased by 1. If the rightmost digit to be removed is less than 5, then the preceding number is not changed. If the rightmost digit to be removed is 5, then the preceding number is not changed if it is an even number, but it is increased by one if it is an odd number.

Dimensions of physical quantities The dimensions of a physical quantity are the exponents to which the base quantities (such

as length [L], mass [M], time [T], etc.) are raised to represent the given quantity. Dimensions of physical quantities The dimensions of a physical quantity are the exponents to which the base quantities (such as length [L], mass [M], time [T], etc.) are raised to represent the given quantity.