RES.TLL-004 | Fall 2013 | Undergraduate

STEM Concept Videos

Problem Solving

Unit Analysis


This video has 2 chapters. The first chapter determines the units of the differential quantity dx in terms of the units of x, and explores how integration and differentiation affect units. The second chapter works through a physics example computing the work of an applied force on an object. The effects of derivatives and integrals are used to check the units of the physical quantities involved at several steps along the way.

Learning Objectives

After watching this video students will be able to:

  • Utilize and apply the key properties of unit analysis: when two quantities are multiplied, their units also multiply, and all terms added, subtracted in an equation must have the same units.
  • Explain how derivatives and integrals affect units.

Funding provided by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Developed by the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) at MIT for SUTD

MIT © 2012

It is highly recommended that the video is paused when prompted so that students are able to attempt the activities on their own and then check their solutions against the video.

During the video, students will:

  • Look for a mistake in the solution started with an incorrect approach.
  • Identify the units of constants in given equations.
  • Check the units of the problem solution to assess whether the solution is correct and the answer makes physical sense.