Talk:Physical unit

From Academic Kids

To any who think that the example should have SI units: I used non-SI units for a very good reason: conversion between SI units is so simple as to be considered trivial. It is easier to see the value of the rigorous method of unit conversion presented when the relationship between the different units is not in simple factors of ten.--BlackGriffen

Hi, I absolutely agree on not using SI for the example, see the concept I explain in my part on conversion of units. I think that concept is the right meaning for the term ``unit conversion. If you don't agree, change the name, don't remove the concept.--RitaBijlsma

I propose the use Kogram as the name for the unit of mass. Kogram is a family name and the name of a village in India. This does away with the prefix kilo in the name. As ``Kogram is a family name, there is no risk of clashing into another meaning of the same term. Units derived from names by SI rule start with a capital. Thus we use Kg. Now we can, hurray!, use mKg, uKg, MKg, like mWb, uWb, MWb (Weber, unit of magnetic flux) or mPa, uPa and MPa (Pascal, unit of pressure) (here, u=micro). The only thing missing is to find some dead guy, who worked in physics and happens to have the family name ``Kogram, so we can name the Kogram in honor of him! --RitaBijlsma

The basic unit of mass isn't the kilogram, it's the gram. But that's not the point: this is an encyclopedia, not a standards committee. It's not in our purview to name, or rename, units of measurement, cities, novels, or anything else: our task as Wikipedians is to describe and explain what's out there. --Vicki Rosenzweig

It isn't the gram, it's the kilogram, but it should be the gram :-) Somebody majorly screwed up somewhere. But I agree, we shouldn't try to invent new names. Also, we should probably mention that the kilogram is still to this day defined by a cube of metal in Paris. --AxelBoldt
No, it is the kilogram for a good reason, see below. I wrote it while you wrote this ;-0
Yes, the cube is important. It is made of platinum-iridium and kept at the BIPM (Bureau international des poids et mesures)--RitaBijlsma
Oeps, the reason may not be clear: if you already have the kg in the derived units, you can not just take the gram as the unit to get prefixes consistent, because then the rest is inconsistent and you can not change all derived units to solve that.
The gram is too small to be practically usable. That is why the kilogram is used. I agree in a way with Rita, though, because for all purposes, we use the kilogram, but linguistically, we use the gram. Even so, putting these ideas into an encyclopedia article sounds like overkill, if you ask me. Sabejias

Ok, I added SI, in the international system of units, the kilogram is the unit of mass, not the gram. See NIST special publication 330, or anywhere else. Because the kilogram is the unit of mass, derived SI units are defined in terms of the kilogram, for example the N = m * kg / s^2 Any derived SI unit is defined in terms of the basic units. So the gram is never used in derived units. This consistent choice allows for great convenience in calculations, especially in automated calculations. The decision that prefixes should be added to the gram instead of the kilogram reduces convenience considerably. And that should not be taken lightly. International definitions that lead to errorprone usage cause small losses of time and money all over the world and that adds up to considerable losses. Its not in my intention to blame the SI commitee. I think that they do a wonderful job that is benificial to all of the world. I just propose some solution for a historical problem.

About stating what is out there: That problem is out there and that frustration is out there, not only in me. Ridiculing my proposal by an unfounded association with renaming novels is no way of engaging in a discussion.

It is not correct to say that I try to do the work of a standard commitee here. A standard committee can not make proposals. They make rules. They can not politically afford to make proposals. No one screwed up with respect to the kilogram. For a system that is globally used to prevent miscommunications, every addition or improvement has to be backward compatible. The SI committee never had the freedom of just making a consistent system and then proudly give it to a waiting world. A large part of their achievements has been political: find out which rules have a large chance of being generally accepted. They have reacted and will react on current general usage. General usage means that many people do the same thing. But if someone wants to start using a new term for the kilogram, just for his own notes, not in published articles, but with the future in mind, then he needs knowlegde on what would generally be a good idea to use: what term would not be ambiguous? what abbreviation (G?, Kg?) can accompany it and is not already in use for some other unit, or ambiguous in another way? These are questions about what is already out there, it is encyclopedic information. I did some research, checked the ambiguity of other terms. They all were impossible. Then I, wauw, found this niche, the term Kogram. That is what I propose to tell in the article: given all that there is out there, there is a niche. Offer that encyclopidic information to anyone who asked himself, like me, if there is a niche left, a term that is save to use. I hope to find others, willing to check if I'm right, if Kogram would be safe and to find if there is guy we can name it after to make the whole idea complete. --RitaBijlsma

Please don't do that, Rita: this is an encylopedia, not a vehicle for personal original research, however well-intentioned. Please let us know when you have a substantial number of people using the Kogram, and we can then add it to the article. Until then, it does not belong here. The Anome 10:32 Feb 7, 2003 (UTC)

It should be nice to have table/list of physical units, I will begin soon I have the time :-)


There is, for the most part.

This article could do with some copyediting, and some TeX markup. The Anome


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