vCalc Length Conversion Factors

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Equation / Last modified by MichaelBartmess on 2017/02/05 18:34
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The vCalc Length Conversion Factors equation shows you the conversion factors between any two length units used inside vCalc equations.  These are the selectable units you can use on any scientific, industrial, hobby or other applications of vCalc  equations.

Since vCalc at present (February 2017) has 25 area units (which you can choose from in any scientific equation that inputs area units), there are 625 combinations of units you can select in this vCalc Length Conversion Factors equation.

Contents

What is a unit

Units of measure or just units are a useful part of solving real-world problems and describing the universe around us.  We use units in our everyday life:  

  • When we discuss the dimension of our home or apartment, we talk about units of area. We say that a room has 120 square feet of floor space.
  • When we talk about driving a distance, we talk about units of distance. We say its 135 miles to the next big city.
  • When we talk about units of electrical potential we refer to the ratings of a hairdryer.  We say our hairdryer requires 120 volts.
  • When we talk about our car's engine we refer to its power in horsepower.  We say our cars engine can produce 400 horsepower.

Square feet, miles, volts and horsepower are examples of units.  Theses units help us understand how big a measure is.  

An inch we know intuitively.  We have learned since childhood that an inch is about as wide as our adult thumb.  And we know twelve inches is equivalent to a foot.  In many cases we have a general, intuitive feel for what a unit is that we use in everyday life.  A cup of coffee equal,  8 liquid ounces, is a size we all generally recognize.  People who drive a lot get a feel after a while for how long it takes to travel a mile on the freeway.  A cook has a pretty good idea how much a teaspoon or a pinch is.

A cup, an ounce, a mile, and a teaspoon are all units of measure. We develop an ever-improving understanding of these units throughout our lives.

A unit can be defined as:  a quantity chosen as a standard in terms of which other quantities may be expressed. For instance, we have a unit of length, the inch, in terms of which we express feet `->->` 12 inches makes a foot.  In turn, we express miles in terms of feet `->->` 5280 feet makes a mile.

typical ruler

We have units of distance, units of area, units of volume, units of time, units of electrical potential, units of power, units of electrical charge, units of force -- and there are many more units.  

vCalc has built-in units in  54 categories today. Length units is just one of the 54 categories of units and in this category of length units vCalc has twenty-five different units.

What is a conversion factor?

The numeric value that we use to convert one unit to another unit is the conversion factor.

In the conversion equation: 1 foot = 12 inches, the numeric constant 12 is the conversion factor.

Units are a useful part of defining real-world amounts.  If someone tells us a box weights 150 pounds, we know we're probably going to have a difficult time picking it up.  If someone tells us the box weighs 150 ounces we are probably not too worried.  But what if they tell us the weight in kilograms and we are not familiar with how much a kilogram weighs?  We need to convert the kilograms to a unit we understand.

Any old boxIf someone tells us a box weighs 35 kilograms, and we live in the US, we may not have a good idea how heavy that is.  But if we know the conversion factor for kilograms to pounds we can get a value in a unit we know and thus understand how heavy the box will be.  The conversion factor for kilograms to pounds is about 2.2 pounds per kilogram so the box that is 35 kilograms weighs about 77 pounds.

We use units in our everyday life.  And often in everyday use, we have to convert from one unit to another.  We do this with a conversion factor.

Imagine in another example we are discussing the dimension of a room so we can buy new carpet. We talk about units of area. We calculate the floor space by first measuring the length and the width.  But our tape measure measures in feet AND inches.  So we have to be able to convert the inches to feet to calculate the total floor space in square feet.

The conversion factor is a numeric value you multiply by the number of units you are converting to get the number of units you are converting to.

As an example, if you choose miles as your input unit to the vCalc Length Conversion Factors equation and you select feet as your output unit, the  vCalc Length Conversion Factors equation will tell you the conversion factor is: 5,280.

What are the units of length?

Units of length are things like feet, meters, angstroms, miles, etc.  We have twenty-five built-in units of length that can be used in vCalc code to make both inputs and outputs appear with their respective units.  And this vCalc Length Conversion Factors equation will let you choose any two length units and see the conversion factor used to convert one unit into another unit.

The length unit conversion factors available inside vCalc are:

  1. meters
  2. nanometers
  3. millimeters
  4. centimeters
  5. kilometers
  6. inches
  7. feet
  8. yards
  9. miles
  10. nautical miles
  11. angstroms
  12. mils
  13. pixels
  14. points
  15. foot survey us
  16. fathom
  17. astronomical units
  18. light seconds
  19. light minutes
  20. light hours
  21. light days
  22. light years
  23. kilolight years
  24. parsecs
  25. megaparsecs

See also