From Base Units to Derived Units

  • Steven A. TreeseEmail author


Base units in a measurement system are a handful of defined quantities from which all other measurements in the system can be derived. SI base units are mass (kg), length (m), time (s), thermodynamic temperature (K), luminous intensity (cd), electric current (A), and the chemical amount of a substance (mol). A similar set of base units is used in the English/US system. These base units are defined in terms of universal constants or properties which, for all practical purposes, remain the same in our common frames of reference. The base units give rise to what we will call here secondary units which are used to develop all the other derived units. The secondary units include measurements like area, volume, velocity, acceleration, and plane angle. There is only a handful of the secondary units. Combining the base and secondary units in various ways provides the wide array of derived units which find use in science and technology today. The primary derived units are identified along with interconversion factors between metric and English/US units.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gig HarborUSA

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