List of Systeme International (SI) Units

Posted in Science

Le Systeme international d'Unites officially came into being in October 1960 and has been officially recognised and adopted by nearly all countries, though the amount of actual usage varies considerably. It is based upon 7 principal units, 1 in each of 7 different categories:

• Length - metre - m
• Mass - kilogram - kg
• Time - second - s
• Electric current - ampere - A
• Temperature - kelvin - K
• Amount of substance - mole - mol
• Luminous intensity - candela - cd

metre [m]
The metre is the basic unit of length. It is the distance light travels, in a vacuum, in 1/299 792 458 th of a second.
kilogram [kg]
The kilogram is the basic unit of mass. It is the mass of an international prototype in the form of a platinum-iridium cylinder kept at Sevres in France. It is now the only basic unit still defined in terms of a material object, and also the only one with a prefix[kilo] already in place.
second [s]
The second is the basic unit of time. It is the length of time taken for 9 192 631 770 periods of vibration of the caesium-133 atom to occur.
ampere [A]
The ampere is the basic unit of electric current. It is that current which produces a specified force between two parallel wires which are 1 metre apart in a vacuum.It is named after the French physicist Andre Ampere (1775-1836).
kelvin [K]
The kelvin is the basic unit of temperature. It is 1/273.16th of the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point of water. It is named after the Scottish mathematician and physicist William Thomson 1st Lord Kelvin (1824-1907).
mole [mol]
The mole is the basic unit of substance. It is the amount of substance that contains as many elementary units as there are atoms in 0.012 kg of carbon-12.
candela [cd]
The candela is the basic unit of luminous intensity. It is the intensity of a source of light of a specified frequency, which gives a specified amount of power in a given direction.

From the 7 basic units of the SI other units are derived for a variety of purposes. Only a few of are explained here as examples, there are many more

The farad is the SI unit of the capacitance of an electrical system, that is, its capacity to store electricity. It is a rather large unit as defined and is more often used as a microfarad. It is named after the English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867).
hertz [Hz]
The hertz is the SI unit of the frequency of a periodic phenomenon. One hertz indicates that 1 cycle of the phenomenon occurs every second. For most work much higher frequencies are needed such as the kilohertz [kHz] and megahertz [MHz]. It is named after the German physicist Heinrich Rudolph Hertz (1857-94).
joule [J]
The joule is the SI unit of work or energy. One joule is the amount of work done when an applied force of 1 newton moves through a distance of 1 metre in the direction of the force.It is named after the English physicist James Prescott Joule (1818-89).
newton [N]
The newton is the SI unit of force. One newton is the force required to give a mass of 1 kilogram an acceleration of 1 metre per second per second. It is named after the English mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727).
ohm [Ω ]
The ohm is the SI unit of resistance of an electrical conductor. Its symbol, is the capital Greek letter 'omega'. It is named after the German physicist Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854).
pascal [Pa]
The pascal is the SI unit of pressure. One pascal is the pressure generated by a force of 1 newton acting on an area of 1 square metre. It is a rather small unit as defined and is more often used as a kilopascal [kPa]. It is named after the French mathematician, physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-62).
volt [V]
The volt is the SI unit of electric potential. One volt is the difference of potential between two points of an electical conductor when a current of 1 ampere flowing between those points dissipates a power of 1 watt. It is named after the Italian physicist Count Alessandro Giuseppe Anastasio Volta (1745-1827).
watt [W]
The watt is used to measure power or the rate of doing work. One watt is a power of 1 joule per second. It is named after the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736-1819).

The S I allows the sizes of units to be made bigger or smaller by the use of appropriate prefixes. For example, the electrical unit of a watt is not a big unit even in terms of ordinary household use, so it is generally used in terms of 1000 watts at a time. The prefix for 1000 is kilo so we use kilowatts[kW] as our unit of measurement. For makers of electricity, or bigger users such as industry, it is common to use megawatts[MW] or even gigawatts[GW]. The full range of prefixes with their [symbols or abbreviations] and their multiplying factors which are also given in other forms is

```yotta [Y] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000     = 10^24
zetta [Z] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000         = 10^21
exa   [E] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000             = 10^18
peta  [P] 1 000 000 000 000 000                 = 10^15
tera  [T] 1 000 000 000 000                     = 10^12
giga  [G] 1 000 000 000 (a thousand millions = a billion)
mega  [M] 1 000 000 (a million)
kilo  [k] 1 000 (a thousand)
hecto [h] 100 (a hundred)
deca  [da]10 (ten) 1
deci  [d] 0.1 (a tenth)
centi [c] 0.01 (a hundredth)
milli [m] 0.001 (a thousandth)
micro [µ] 0.000 001 (a millionth)
nano  [n] 0.000 000 001 (a thousand millionth)
pico  [p] 0.000 000 000 001			= 10^-12
femto [f] 0.000 000 000 000 001			= 10^-15
atto  [a] 0.000 000 000 000 000 001		= 10^-18
zepto [z] 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001		= 10^-21
yocto [y] 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001	= 10^-24```
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