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2/6/12 1:51 PM UNITS and Conversion Factors

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Units, conversion factors, and physical constants
This section contains information on units (immediately below), physical constants, conversion
factors, and miscellaneous data related to air and sound.
To the list of Physics of sound subsections.
Fundamental units
Quantity Symbol Units Dimensions
Time t Seconds [s]
Length Meters [m]
Mass M Kilograms [kg]
Charge q Coulombs [q]
Other physical quantities
Quantity Symbol Units Dimensions
Weight Kg-weight
[kg-m-s
-2
]
Force F Newtons (N)
[kg-m-s
-2
]
Velocity v
[m- s
-1
]
Acceleration a
[m-s
-2
]
Energy/Work E Joule (J)
[kg-m
2
-s
-2
]
Power Watt (W)
[kg-m
2
-s
-3
]
Density !
[kg-m
-3
]
Pressure P Pascal (Pa)
[kg- m
-1
-s
-2
]
Sound intensity I
W-m
-2
[kg- s
-3
]
Temperature T
0
K
-none-
Volume V
[m
3
]
Moles n mol -none-
Electrical quantities
Magnetic field B
Tesla = Weber-m
-2
[kg-s
-1
-q
-1
]
Electric field E
Volts-m
-1
[kg-m-s
-2
-q
-1
]
Electric current I Amps
[q-s
-1
]
2/6/12 1:51 PM UNITS and Conversion Factors
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Electric current I Amps
[q-s
-1
]
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Physical Constants
Updated 3/18/98 based on values provided by NIST
Constant Symbol Value Units Dimensions
Avogadro's
number
N
6.0221367x 10
23
mol
-1
-none-
Gas constant R=Nk 8.31451
J-
0
K
-1
-mol
-1
[kg-m
2
-s
-2
]
Boltzmann's
constant
k
1.380658 x 10
-23
J-
0
K
-1
[kg-m
2
-s
-2
]
Standard molar
volume
V
0
.0224141
m
3
-mol
-1
[m
3
]
Planck's constant h
6.62606876x10
-34
J-s
[kg-m
2
-s
-1
]
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Conversion factors
Length
1m = 3.2808 ft
1 km = .62137 mi.
1 Angstrom ! 10
-10
meters = 3.937 x 10
-9
inch
Volume
1 m
3
= 1000 liters = 35.315 ft
3
Mass
1 kg = 2.20462 lbs. avoirdupois
Velocity
1 m-s
-1
= 3.6 km/hour = 2.2369 MPH
Force
2/6/12 1:51 PM UNITS and Conversion Factors
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1 Newton = 10
5
Dynes = .10197 kg-weight = .22481 lb-wt
1 kg-wt = 2.20462 lb.-wt = 70.93 poundals=9.80665 Newtons
Acceleration due to gravity @ sea level, 45-deg lat
1 g = 9.80621 m-s
-2
= 32.1725 ft-s
-2
Energy
1 Joule ! 1 watt-s = .10197 kg-meter = 10
7
ergs
Temperature
Zero
0
C = 273.15
0
K
72
0
F = 22.2
0
C = 295.4
0
K
Pressure
1 atmosphere = 1.0332x10
4
Kg-weight-m
-2
= 2116.2 lbs.-ft2 = 14.7 psi = 76 cm Hg
= 1.0132x10
5
Pa = 197.1 dB SPL (Swing from total vacuum to 2-atm)
1 Pa 1 N-m
-2
= 93.98 dB SPL = .000145 psi
.00002 Pa RMS ! 0 dB SPL RMS
1 Bar ! 10
6
Dyne-cm
-2
= 10
5
Pa = 193.98 dB SPL
Warning! Sometimes authors define 1 Bar ! 1 Dyne-cm
-2
= 73.98 dB SPL
Sound intensity
Reference level ! 10
-12
W-m
-2
1 W-m
-2
= 120 dB above reference, produces a pressure level of 20.7 Pa
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Miscellaneous Data
Atmosphere=78% N
2
, 21% O
2
by volume
N
2
1.2506 kg-m
3
at 1 atm, 0
0
C
2/6/12 1:51 PM UNITS and Conversion Factors
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Dry air @ 20
0
C, 1 atm

= 1.205 kg -m
-3
N atomic weight 14.0067, atomic radius .74 Ang
Speed of sound 331.36 ms
-1
at 1 Atm, 0
0
C.
For other temperatures T in
o
C, multiply by sqrt(1+T/273.16)
Characteristic impedance of air Z
o
=428 rayls at 1 Atm 0
0
C, 413.3 at 20
0
C
Molecular constants
Average molecular velocity, air 463 m-s
-1
at 20
0
C
N
2
at 20
0
C, 1 atm:
Mean free path, 8.21, 9.29 x10
-8
m
Collision frequency 5070 x 10
6
s
-1
Molecular diameter 3.3 x 10
-10
m
Molecular density, 2.687 x 10
25
m
-3
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