1. Units and Dimensional Analysis

OCW Scholar

« Previous | Next »


Learning Objectives

  • Explain the difference between units and dimensions.
  • Describe the SI system of units.
  • Be able to apply the method of dimensional analysis to find approximate relationships between the physical quantities that describe a system.


Course Notes

Notes: Units and Dimensional Analysis (PDF - 1.9MB)

Suggested Textbook Reading (Optional)

Buy at Amazon Chapter 1.3-1.4. Young, Hugh D., Roger A. Freedman, and A. Lewis Ford. Sears and Zemansky's University Physics: with Modern Physics. 12th ed. San Francisco, CA: Addison-Wesley, 2007. ISBN: 9780805321876.

Lecture Video

Video Excerpts

Watch the following excerpts from the Physics I lecture videos:

Flash and JavaScript are required for this feature.

Download the complete lectures from this course:

» iTunes U
» Internet Archive

Learning Activities

Guided Activities

Read through the class slides carefully. They explain all of the concepts from the module.

Slides: Units and Dimensional Analysis (PDF)


Do the Concept Questions first to make sure you understand the main concepts from this module. Then, when you are ready, try the Challenge Problems.

Concept Questions

Concept Questions (PDF)

Solutions (PDF)

Challenge Problems

Challenge Problems (PDF)

Solutions (PDF)

Related Resources

There are countless resources available online to help you learn physics. Try these:


« Previous | Next »