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Converting Before or After?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:26 am
by Tooba_1A
I was confused about how you would know what unit the final answer should be in, especially when it's something as vague as "Find the mass". In addition to this, do you convert the units before you go about the problem, or after you have already solved it?

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:37 am
by ABombino_2J
You can have the final units in whichever unit makes the most sense. For example, you would not want a final mass to be 9.8 x 10^-2 kg because you could just say 98g unless it explicitly asks for kg. As you work the problem, you should use whichever units are easiest to use. Grams are usually easiest because molar masses come in grams per mole, but any SI unit can work. Whether or not it is before or after depends on how difficult it will be to work with that mass.

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:41 am
by Jasmine Vallarta 2L
I suggest solving the problem first, which ever way is easiest for you. Then convert the units (if needed) to either fit what's being asked in the question, or if units aren't specified in the question, just convert the units into whatever is easiest to read.

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:47 am
by Ashley Fang 2G
Convert the units first if you're going to be canceling them out with other units. You want to make sure that like units cancel out like units.
For example, you would not do 5kg x 1mol/18.02g, you would change the 5kg to 5000g first to make sure you're left with only moles when you cancel out the grams.

However, if all your units are the same and you end up with a very large number such as 500,000 grams, it would probably be preferable to convert to kg instead after you have finished your calculations.

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:02 am
by AronCainBayot2K
You should always convert after you've completed all steps necessary. For example if it is asking for volume, evidently the answer should be in some form of liter measurement. In these types of cases, just pay attention to the units given and determine whether you would need it to be in milliliters, liters, etc.

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:31 am
by pJimenez3F
if youre doing everything right it should cancel out to the right units at the end :)

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:58 am
by Jessica Ramirez 3D
I was taught to solve the problem first, and convert after, so that it doesn't become confusing before, or even during, solving for any calculations.

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:21 am
by Matt F
^To add on to this, I would definitely convert after since it could make your calculations a little wonky if you converting during. Only convert during the calculations if you need units to cancel out (they usually should regardless), so I would suggest waiting until the end.

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:47 pm
by AmyL_3L
To avoid confusion, convert after solving the problem. However, if you need to cancel out units then converting during calculations is necessary.

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:48 pm
by Alexa Hernandez 3k
IF EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL THE DESIRED UNITS SHOULD PERFECTLY CANCEL OUT... IF NOT YOU HAVE A BIT OF A PROBLEM...

Re: Converting Before or After?

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:28 pm
by Nuoya Jiang
It would be easier and clearer to do all the converting after you solve the question and do the correct the calculations, and if you can cancel the units and cut it to a reasonable/desired unit, the answer would probably be right.