Knowledge Base Article

Introduction to Constants

Mathematical and Physical constants are values or measurements that are assumed to be unchanging.  We run into them every day, and they range from pure math constants like `pi` and `e`, to physical constants like the weight of water or the radius of PlutoConstants.png                    Math and Physical constants .  But we also have quasi-constants.  These are things that are true now but may change with time, things like the price of gold or the size of a country. 

In vCalc, we've created a mechanism for people to capture data in constants including units (e.g. feet, kilograms, newtons, amperes) and the means for those constants to be used in equations and calculators.  While some constants may be short and easy, many are long and prone to typographical errors if manually entered.  That's why vCalc lets people, groups and large institutions enter and document constants in one convenient place for use by the general public.  However, vCalc also allows you to create private constants that only you can see, or that can be seen by those with whom you specifically share them.  In this way, you can keep your trade-secrets or special recipes to yourself and still use the power of vCalc.

When you can create a constant in vCalc, your creation will automatically inherit numerous powerful attributes:

  • Constants you create in vCalc are stored on the cloud and available to you any time on the web.
  • Your constants are instantly deployed in an automatically generated wiki page and mobile library.
  • Your constant wiki pages are a great place to document your constants with descriptions, graphics and links to related items.
  • You can share your constants with your social network (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) .
  • You can duplicate the constants done by others as a good starting point for your math.
  • You can employ vCalc’s unit handling (e.g. feet, kilograms, volts) in your constant and see how one constant is now useful in hundreds of different situations when vCalc automatically translates your constant to and from different units.
  • You can bundle your constants with equations into your own custom calculators, your own custom compilations of equations and constants with just the math that you need.

The following articles are meant to help you build your own constants in vCalc.

Ground Rules and Guidelines

Before you create your own library of constants, there are some ground rules:

  •  All vCalc content, including constants, must comply with vCalc’s Terms of Use.
  • All vCalc content created by you is private and only viewable by you or a vCalc system administrator unless you choose to share it with other vCalc colleagues or with the general public.

 vCalc is designed to help people.  With your help, powerful tools can be made for the public.  With this in mind, we encourage you to do the following:

  • Make constants that are useful to you, but share them whenever possible.
  • Feel free to copy the work of others and customize it to your needs.
  • Consider publishing your work (documenting it) in as many languages as you speak.  It’s a small world on the Internet and you’ll be helping people who otherwise may never get help.

Last thing, vCalc is here to help!  If you have questions or need assistance, click on “Contact US” link and let us know how we can help.