Using a Conversion Factor
Using a conversion factor is a helpful tool for converting between derived units. In general, the conversion factor is a numerical ratio which relates one unit of measure to another.
For example, the length of an object may be measured in feet or meters. This ratio will allow the person to convert this quantity into other units such as inches or miles.
Similarly, a light bulb may be measured in EACH. This conversion factor allows the person to convert the light bulb to a storeroom issue unit of 36.
In the case of mass to mass conversions, molar mass values may be used. These values can be calculated from balanced equations. The coefficients in these balanced equations can act as molar ratios.
For example, if the given mass is 0.0034 grams, the conversion factor for this quantity is 10-3 grams. The molar mass value can also be used in mole to mole conversions.
The main idea behind dimensional analysis is to create conversion ratios. This is done by multiplying the denominators and dividing the numerators. This allows for simple unit conversions to be done without a lot of math.
When converting units, there are a number of steps that must be followed. First, the person must identify the unit of measure and the linkage unit. The linkage unit can be a digit, ROLL, or case. Then the person must choose the correct number of significant digits.
For example, if a person wants to convert a day into hours, they must multiply by 24. This will give them a day.