# Chapter 2 Dimensions, Quantities and Units

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1 Chapter 2 Dimensions, Quantities and Units Nomenclature a A d F g h m P t u u x W x Acceleration Area Diameter Fce Acceleration due to gravity Height Mass Pressure Time Speed velocity Velocity in the x-direction Wk Distance Greek symbols ρ Density 2.1 Dimensions and Units The dimensions of all physical quantities can be expressed in terms of the four basic dimensions: mass, length, time and temperature. Thus velocity has the dimensions of length per unit time and density has the dimensions of mass per unit length cubed. A system of units is required so that the magnitudes of physical quantities may be determined and compared one with another. The internationally agreed system which is used f science and engineering is the Systeme International d Unites, usually abbreviated to SI. Table 2.1 lists the SI units f the four basic dimensions together with those f electrical current and plane angle which, although strictly are derived quantities, are usually treated as basic quantities. Also included is the unit of molar mass which somewhat illogically is the gram molecular weight gram mole and which is usually referred to simply as a mole. However, it is often me convenient to use the kilogram molecular weight kmol. The SI system is based upon the general metric system of units which itself arose from the attempts during the French Revolution to impose a me rational der upon human affairs. Thus the metre was iginally defined as one ten-millionth part of the distance from the Nth Pole to the equat P.G. Smith, Introduction to Food Process Engineering, Food Science Texts Series, DOI / _2, C Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

2 6 2 Dimensions, Quantities and Units Table 2.1 Dimensions and SI units of the four basic quantities and some derived quantities Dimension Symbol SI unit Symbol Mass M Kilogram kg Length L Metre m Time T Second s Temperature Degree kelvin K Plane angle Radian rad Electrical current Ampere A Molar mass Gram-molecular weight mol along the meridian which passes through Paris. It was subsequently defined as the length of a bar of platinum iridium maintained at a given temperature and pressure at the Bureau International des Poids et Measures (BIPM) in Paris, but is defined now by the wavelength of a particular spectral line emitted by a Krypton 86 atom. The remaining units in Table 2.1 are defined as follows: kilogram: The mass of a cylinder of platinum iridium kept under given conditions at BIPM, Paris. second: degree kelvin: radian: ampere: mol: A particular fraction of a certain oscillation within a caesium 133 atom. The temperature of the triple point of water, on an absolute scale, divided by The degree kelvin is the unit of temperature difference as well as the unit of thermodynamic temperature. The angle subtended at the centre of a circle by an arc equal in length to the radius. The electrical current which if maintained in two straight parallel conducts of infinite length and negligible cross-section, placed 1 m apart in a vacuum, produces a fce between them of N per metre length. The amount of substance containing as many elementary units (atoms molecules) as there are in 12 g of carbon 12. The SI system is very logical and, in a scientific and industrial context, has a great many advantages over previous systems of units. However, it is usually criticised on two counts. First that the names given to certain derived units, such as the pascal f the unit of pressure, of themselves mean nothing and that it would be better to remain with, f example, the kilogram per square metre. This is erroneous; the definitions of newton, joule, watt and pascal are simple and straightfward if the underlying principles are understood. Derived units which have their own symbols, and which are encountered in this book, are listed in Table 2.2. The second criticism concerns the magnitude of many units and the resulting numbers which are often inconveniently large small. This problem would occur with any system of units and is not peculiar to SI. However, there are instances when strictly non-si units may be preferred. F example, the wavelengths of certain kinds of electromagnetic radiation may be me conveniently written in Table 2.2 Some derived SI units Name Symbol Quantity represented Basic units newton N Fce kg m s 2 joule J Energy wk N m watt W Power J s 1 pascal Pa Pressure N m 2 hertz Hz Frequency s 1 volt V Electrical potential W A 1

3 2.2 Definitions of Some Basic Physical Quantities 7 terms of the angstrom, 1 Å being equal to m. Flow rates and production figures, when expressed in kg h 1 even in t day 1, may be me convenient than in kg s 1. Pressures are still often quoted in bars standard atmospheres rather than pascals simply because the pascal is a very small unit. Many of these latter disadvantages can be overcome by using prefixes. Thus a pressure of 10 5 Pa might better be expressed as 100 kpa. A list of prefixes is given in Appendix A. It must be stressed that whatever shthand methods are used to present data, the strict SI unit must be used in calculations. Mistakes are made frequently by using, f example, kw m 2 K 1 f the units of heat transfer coefficients in place of W m 2 K 1. Although such errs ought to be obvious it is often the case that compound errs of this kind result in plausible values based upon erroneous calculations. A further note on presentation is appropriate at this point. I believe firmly that the use of negative indices, as in W m 2 K 1, avoids confusion and is to be preferred to the solidus as in W/m 2 K. The fmer method is used throughout this book. Appendix B gives a list of conversion facts between different units. 2.2 Definitions of Some Basic Physical Quantities Velocity and Speed Velocity and speed are both defined as the rate of change of distance with time. Thus, speed u is given by u = dx (2.1) dt where x is distance and t is time. Average speed is then the distance covered in unit elapsed time. Velocity and speed differ in that speed is a scalar quantity (its definition requires only a magnitude together with the relevant units) but velocity is a vect quantity and requires a direction to be specified. A process engineering example would be the velocity of a fluid flowing in a pipeline; the velocity must be specified as the velocity in the direction of flow as opposed to, f example, the velocity perpendicular to the direction of flow. Thus velocity in the x-direction might be designated u x where u x = dx dt (2.2) In practice the term velocity is used widely without specifying direction explicitly because the direction is obvious from the context. The SI unit of velocity is m s Acceleration Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity with time. Thus the acceleration at any instant, a, is given by a = du dt (2.3) It should be noted that the term acceleration does not necessarily indicate an increase in velocity with time. Acceleration may be positive negative and this should be indicated along with the magnitude. The SI unit of acceleration is m s 2.

4 8 2 Dimensions, Quantities and Units Fce and Momentum The concept of fce can only be understood by reference to Newton s laws of motion. First law: Second law: Third law: A body will continue in its state of rest unifm motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an impressed fce. The rate of change of momentum of the body with time is proptional to the impressed fce and takes place in the direction of the fce. To each fce there is an equal and opposite reaction. These laws cannot be proved but they have never been disproved by any experimental observation. The momentum of an object is the product of its mass m and velocity u: momentum = mu (2.4) From Newton s second law, the magnitude of a fce F acting on a body may be expressed as If the mass is constant, then F d(mu) dt F m du dt (2.5) (2.6) F ma (2.7) In other wds, fce is proptional to the product of mass and acceleration. A suitable definition of the unit of fce will result in a constant of proptionality in Eq. (2.7) of unity. In the SI system the unit of fce is the newton (N). One newton is that fce, acting upon a body with a mass of 1 kg, which produces an acceleration of 1 m s 2. Hence F = ma (2.8) Weight Weight is a term f the localised gravitational fce acting upon a body. The unit of weight is therefe the newton and not the kilogram. The acceleration produced by gravitational fce varies with the distance from the centre of the earth and at sea level the standard value is m s 2 which is usually approximated to 9.81 m s 2. The acceleration due to gravity is nmally accded the symbol g. The magnitude of a newton can be gauged by considering the apple falling from a tree which was observed supposedly by Isaac Newton befe he fmulated the they of universal gravitation. The fce acting upon an average-sized apple with a mass of, say, 0.10 kg, falling under gravity, would be, using Eq. (2.8) F = N F = N F 1.0 N

5 2.2 Definitions of Some Basic Physical Quantities 9 The fact that an average-sized apple falls with a fce of about 1.0 N is nothing me than an interesting coincidence. However, this simple illustration serves to show that the newton is a very small unit Pressure A fce F acting over a specified surface area A gives rise to a pressure P. Thus P = F A (2.9) In the SI system the unit of pressure is the pascal (Pa). One pascal is that pressure generated by a fce of 1 N acting over an area of 1 m 2. Note that standard atmospheric pressure is Pa. There are many non-si units with which it is necessary to become familiar; the bar is equal to 10 5 Pa and finds use particularly f pressures exceeding atmospheric pressure. A pressure can be expressed in terms of the height of a column of liquid which it would suppt and this leads to many common pressure units, derived from the use of the simple barometer f pressure measurement. Thus atmospheric pressure is approximately 0.76 m of mercury m of water. Very small pressures are sometimes expressed as mm of water mm water gauge. Unftunately it is still common to find imperial units of pressure, particularly pounds per square inch psi. Consider a narrow tube held vertically so that the lower open end is below the surface of a liquid (Fig. 2.1). The pressure of the surrounding atmosphere P fces a column of liquid up the tube to a height h. The pressure at the base of the column (point B) is given by the weight of liquid in the column acting over the cross-sectional area of the tube: mass of liquid in tube = πd 2 hρ (2.10) 4 where ρ is the density of the liquid. The weight of liquid (fce acting on the cross-section) F is F = πd 2 hρg (2.11) 4 The pressure at B must equal the pressure at A, therefe P = πd 2hρg 4 4 πd 2 (2.12) P h P A B Fig. 2.1 Pressure at the base of a column of liquid

6 10 2 Dimensions, Quantities and Units P = ρgh (2.13) Example 2.1 What pressure will suppt a column of mercury (density = 13,600 kg m 3 ) 80 cm high? From Eq. (2.13) the pressure at the base of the column is P = 13, Pa and therefe P = Pa Wk and Energy Wk and energy are interchangeable quantities; wk may be thought of as energy in transition. Thus, f example, in an internal combustion engine chemical energy in the fuel is changed into thermal energy which in turn produces expansion in a gas and then motion, first of a piston within a cylinder and then of a crankshaft and of a vehicle. The SI unit of all fms of energy and of mechanical wk is the joule (J). A joule is defined as the wk done when a fce of 1 N moves through a distance of 1 m. F example, if an apple of weight 1 N (see Section 2.2.4) is lifted through a vertical distance of 1 m then the net wk done on the apple is 1 J. This is the energy required simply to lift the apple against gravity and does not take into account any inefficiencies in the device be it a mechanical device the human arm. Clearly the joule is a small quantity. A further illustration of the magnitude of the joule is that approximately 4180 J of thermal energy is required to increase the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 K (see Section 3.5). Example 2.2 A mass of 250 kg is to be raised by 5 m against gravity. What energy input is required to achieve this? From Eq. (2.8) the gravitational fce acting on the mass is F = N F = N The wk done ( energy required) W in raising the mass against this fce is and therefe W = F distance W= J W= J

7 2.3 Dimensional Analysis Power Power is defined as the rate of wking the rate of usage transfer of energy and thus it involves time. The apple may be lifted slowly quickly. The faster it is lifted through a given distance the greater is the power of the mechanical device. Alternatively the greater the mass lifted (hence the greater the fce overcome) within the same period, the greater will be the power. A rate of energy usage of 1 joule per second (1 J s 1 ) is defined as 1 watt (W). Example 2.3 The mass in Example 2.2 is lifted in 5 s. What power is required to do this? What power is required to lift it in 1 min? The power required is equal to the energy used ( wk done) divided by the time over which the energy is expended. Therefe power = W If now the mass is lifted over a period of 1 min, = W 2.45 kw. power = W = W Whilst most examples in this book are concerned with rates of thermal energy transfer, it is imptant to understand (and may be easier to visualise) the definitions of wk and power in mechanical terms. In addition, students of food technology and food engineering do require some basic knowledge of electrical power supply and usage, although that is outside the scope of this book. Suffice it to say that the electrical power consumed (in watts) when a current flows in a wire is given by the product of the current (in amperes) and the electrical potential (in volts). 2.3 Dimensional Analysis Dimensional Consistency All mathematical relationships which are used to describe physical phenomena should be dimensionally consistent. That is, the dimensions (and hence the units) should be the same on each side of the equality. Take Eq. (2.13) as an example. P = ρgh (2.13) Using square brackets to denote dimensions units, the dimensions of the terms on the right-hand side are as follows:

8 12 2 Dimensions, Quantities and Units [ρ] = ML 3 [ g ] = LT 2 [h] = L Thus the dimensions of the right-hand side of Eq. (2.13) are [ρgh] = (ML 3 )(LT 2 )(L) [ρgh] = ML 1 T 2 Pressure is a fce per unit area, fce is given by the product of mass and acceleration and therefe the dimensions of the left-hand side of Eq. (2.13) are [P] = [mass] [acceleration] [area] [P] = (M)(LT 2 ) L 2 [P] = ML 1 T 2 Similarly the units must be the same on each side of the equation. This is simply a warning not to mix SI and non-si units and to be aware of prefixes. The units of the various quantities in Eq. (2.13) are [P] = Pa [ρ] = kg m 3 [g] = ms 2 [h] = m and therefe the right-hand side of Eq. (2.13) becomes [ρgh] = (kgm 3 ) (ms 2 ) (m) [ρgh] = kg ms 2 m 2

9 2.3 Dimensional Analysis 13 As a fce of 1 N, acting upon a body of mass 1 kg, produces an acceleration of 1 m s 2, the units of the right-hand side of Eq. (2.13) are now and thus [ρgh] = Nm 2 [ρgh] = Pa Dimensional Analysis The technique of dimensional analysis is used to rearrange the variables which represent a physical relation so as to give a relationship that can me easily be determined by experimentation. F example, in the case of the transfer of heat to a food fluid in a pipeline, the rate of heat transfer might depend upon the density and viscosity of the food, the velocity in the pipeline, the pipe diameter and other variables. Dimensional analysis, by using the principle of dimensional consistency, suggests a me detailed relationship which is then tested experimentally to give a wking equation f predictive design purposes. It is imptant to stress that this procedure must always consist of dimensional analysis followed by detailed experimentation. The theetical basis of dimensional analysis is too involved f this text but an example, related to heat transfer (Chapter 7), is set out in Appendix C. Problems 2.1 What is the pressure at the base of a column of water 20 m high? The density of water is 1000 kg m What density of liquid is required to give standard atmospheric pressure ( kpa) at the base of a 12 m high column of that liquid? 2.3 A person of mass 75 kg climbs a vertical distance of 25 m in 30 s. Igning inefficiencies and friction (a) how much energy does the person expend and (b) how much power must the person develop? 2.4 Determine the dimensions of the following: (a) linear momentum (mass velocity) (b) wk (c) power (d) pressure (e) weight (f) moment of a fce (fce distance) (g) angular momentum (linear momentum distance) (h) pressure gradient (i) stress (j) velocity gradient

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