When to convert units?

Moderators: Chem_Mod, Chem_Admin

Immi Lee - 1D
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:58 pm

When to convert units?

Postby Immi Lee - 1D » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:05 pm

While I was doing the textbook problems, I noticed that in the answer the key they often converted the units even though the question didn't specify in what units the final answer was supposed to be. (For example, the given was in pm but the answer converted it to m and then km.) If the units for the final answer aren't specified, should I keep the answer in the same units as the given or convert it, and if I convert it to what units should I convert to?

Hannah Biju 1E
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:55 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Hannah Biju 1E » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:08 pm

I think I remember that Professor Lavelle said that it does not matter unless the question specifies.

Mansi Solanki 3A
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:55 pm
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Mansi Solanki 3A » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:29 pm

Hannah Biju 3E wrote:I think I remember that Professor Lavelle said that it does not matter unless the question specifies.

In general, I think that as Hannah said Dr. Lavelle did not state a hard rule for units or when it is necessary to convert them, but if you are ever unsure I think that it is good to be consistent with the problem and keep the units that were being worked with while solving unless otherwise specified.

Eileen Quach Dis 2A
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:49 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Eileen Quach Dis 2A » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:50 pm

I don't think you need to convert the units unless it says so in the question, but I convert the units to meters if the answer was smaller than a meter just out of personal preference.

Juliana Rosales 1H
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:43 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Juliana Rosales 1H » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:42 am

Personally I would not convert the units unless there was some mention of it in the actual question. If you decide to convert it is technically the same amount or value just with different units, so i don't really see the harm in changing units. I think if not specified just try to make the units something easily read or understood.

Arya Adibi 1K
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:41 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Arya Adibi 1K » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:23 am

If it is a very large value or small value and the question doesn't specify what units, you could convert it to a smaller or larger prefix unit to make the answer more understandable, but in general I think its safe to leave answers in SI units.

AnjikaFriedman-Jha2D
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:55 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby AnjikaFriedman-Jha2D » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:30 am

I think generally when we start a problem we are supposed to convert to SI units- meters, liters, seconds and then give answers in terms of those units

Pranav Daggubati 3C
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:35 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Pranav Daggubati 3C » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:39 am

I usually convert to easily readable or understandable units. For example, I convert nanometers to meters because the number may make more sense in meters, but at other times I might do it the other way around to show an easily understandable measurement in nanometers.

Lillian
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:48 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Lillian » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:48 am

I was actually wondering if Lavelle checked for work. Do we have to show every step in solving the problems?

Immi Lee - 1D
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:58 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Immi Lee - 1D » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:32 pm

Lillian wrote:I was actually wondering if Lavelle checked for work. Do we have to show every step in solving the problems?


I don't think we have to show every single little step, but just enough work that he understands how we got from one part to the next.


Also thank you everyone for the clarification!

vuongnaomi1L
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:56 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby vuongnaomi1L » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:49 pm

I dont think it matters unless the question specifically asks for a certain unit, but I usually put the answer in the units that the question gives.

Xavier Herrera 3H
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:37 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Xavier Herrera 3H » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:42 am

I would usually write my answer in the units that the questions give me. However, if the question uses a scientific constant with SI units, you would definitely have to change the given units to SI units in order to match the scientific constant. Otherwise, the answer would be incorrect.

Andrew Yoon 3L
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:36 pm

Re: When to convert units?

Postby Andrew Yoon 3L » Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:33 pm

I would only write/convert my final answer to the unit that the question specifies. Also I think that even if the question doesn't ask for a specific, I would keep the answer to a SI unit just to keep it safe.


Return to “SI Units, Unit Conversions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest