CHAPTER 1: PHYSICS FOR MEASUREMENT
Outline
 What is Physics?
 Theory & Experiment
 Matter & Model Building
 Density & Atomic Mass
 Measurements
 Basic Physical Quantities & SI Unit Used in Mechanics
 Reasonableness of Results
 Symbols
 Prefixes
 Dimension & Dimensional Analysis
 Units vs Dimensions
 Conversion of Units
 Estimated & OrderofMagnitude Calculations
 Uncertainty in Measurements
 Significant Figures
 Precision & Accuracy
What is Physics?
= Fundamental Science which
➢ concerned with the basic principles of the Universe which is dealing with MATTER & ENERGY
➢ Energy can take the form of:
Energy
motion
light
electricity
gravity
and so on ➢ Physics deals with matter on scales ranging from sub atomic particles (i.e: the particles that make up an atom) to the stars & even entire galaxies
How Physics Works? ➢ Utilizes the scientific method to formulate & test hypotheses that are based on observation of the natural world
Main objective of Physics:
➢ to find the limited number of fundamental laws that govern natural phenomena from experimental work
➢ to use these laws to develop theories that can predict the results of
future experiments
 usually expressed in the language of mathematics, which can then be used to predict other phenomena
**So, Mathematics provides the bridge between theory & experiment
Role of Physics in Other Field of Science
➢ In a broader sense, Physics can be seen as the most fundamental of the natural sciences
➢ Examples:
a) Chemistry:
can be viewed as a complex application of Physics, as it focuses on the interaction of energy & matter in chemical systems
b) Biology:
an application of chemical properties in living things, which means that it is also, ultimately, ruled by the physical laws
Division of Physics:
➢ Classical physics  classical mechanics, thermodynamics, optics & EM
➢ Modern physics (phenomena that could not be explained by classical physics)  relativity & quantum mechanics
Theory and Experiments:
Should complement each other
When a discrepancy occurs, theory may be modified:
➢ Theory may apply to limited conditions
E.g: Newtonian Mechanics is confined to objects traveling slowly with respect to the speed of light
➢ Try to develop a more general theory
Matter & Model Building
Matter:
= everything around you composed of atoms & molecules anything that has mass and takes up space 5 states of matter:
**BE – Bose Einstein
Model:
= a system of physical components useful when we cannot directly interact with a phenomenon can be changed can make problems easier to visualize – can help to predict the behaviour of the system
E.g: ATOMIC MODEL (e ^{} & protons in an atom) 
can be used to predict the chemical and physical properties of matter based on interactions between electrons and with heat, temperature, light, etc.
Model of Matter
Modeling Technique:
➢ Identify a system of physical components for the problem
➢ Make predictions of the behavior of the system based on the interactions
among the components and/or the components and the environment
Density & Atomic Mass
Density (ρ):
= an example of a derived quantity Defined as: m
V
Unit: kg/m ^{3}
Atomic Mass:
= total number of protons & neutrons in the element
measured in atomic mass units (u):
1 u = 1.6605387 x 10 ^{}^{2}^{7} kg
Measurements
• Used to describe natural phenomena
• Needs defined standards
Basic Physical Quantities & SI Unit Used in Mechanics

Physical quantities = a quantity that can be measured 

Basic physical quantities used: 
a) Length
 common instruments used to measure length:
➢ Metre rule – measure lengths up to 1 m
➢ Tape measure – measure lengths up to a few meters
➢ Vernier calliper – measure both internal & external diameters of objects (1 cm – 10 cm)
➢ Micrometer screw gauge – measure diameters of wire @ ball bearings (<1 cm)
b) Mass  common instrument used to measure mass: mass balance
c) Time
 common instrument used to measure time:
➢ Pendulum
➢ Clock
➢ Stopwatch

Characteristics of standards for measurements 
➢ Readily accessible 

➢ Possess some property that can be measured reliably 

➢ Must yield the same results when used by anyone anywhere 

➢ Cannot change with time 


The need for a standard: 
➢ trade or commerce 

➢ general communications 


International System of Units (SI) for the BASIC mechanic quantities: 
Quantities 
SI unit 
Definition 
Length 
meter 
defined in terms of distance traveled by light in a 
(m) 
vacuum during a given time 

Mass 
kilogram 
defined based on a specific cylinder kept at the 
(kg) 
International Bureau of Standards 

Time 
second 
defined in terms of the oscillation of radiation from a 
(s) 
cesium atom 
All
quantities
other physical
quantities can
be
derived
from
these basic
Remember, All measured physical quantities have units. Units are VITAL in physics!!
Reasonableness of Results
***Always ask is a result is reasonable or believable??? Don't rely entirely on your calculation!
Example:
If you're working in the lab and calculate that an air track glider had a speed of 567.89 m/s, STOP! That's an ernormous speed. Something has gone wrong! Make an estimate before going through the detailed calculations.
Symbols
• The symbol used in an equation is not necessarily the symbol used for its dimension Some quantities have one symbol used consistently Example: time is t virtually all the time Some quantities have many symbols used, depending upon the specific situation Example: lengths may be x, y, z, r, d, h, etc.
Prefixes
✓ correspond to the powers of 10
✓ Each prefix:
has a specific name
has a specific abbreviation (symbol)
✓ can be used with any basic units
✓ are multipliers of the base unit
E.g:
1 mm = 10 ^{}^{3} m 1 mg = 10 ^{}^{3} g
Dimension & Dimensional Analysis
Dimension:
The way in which the derived quantity is related to the basic quantity can be shown by the dimensions of the quantity
In considering dimensions, we will restrict ourselves to those used in mechanics & properties of matter only
So, dimension denotes the physical nature of a quantity denoted with square brackets
Length [L]
Mass [M]
Time [T]
We can have a combination of these quantities Example:
Quantity 
Dimensions 

area 
[L] 
^{2} 
volume 
[L] 
^{3} 
velocity 
[L][T] ^{}^{1} 

acceleration 
[L][T] ^{}^{2} 

force 
[M][L][T] ^{}^{2} 
Quantity 
Dimensions 
energy 
[M][L] ^{2} [T] ^{}^{2} 
power 
[M][L] ^{2} [T] ^{}^{3} 
pressure 
[M][L] ^{}^{1} [T] ^{}^{2} 
momentum 
[M][L][T] ^{}^{1} 
**Dimensions can be treated as algebraic quantities  add, subtract, multiply, divide
Dimensional analysis:
= Technique to check the correctness of an equation @ to assist in deriving an equation
Both sides of equation must have the same dimensions
Limitation: Cannot give numerical factors
Example:
Given the equation: x = ½ at ^{2} . Check dimensions on each side. []=(1/2)[][ ^{2} _{]}
[]=
=
[]
[ ^{2}
_{]} ∙[ ^{2} ]
dimensionally correct
Unit vs Dimensions
• Dimensions: L, T, M, L/T …
• Units: m, mm, cm, kg, g, s, hr, years …
• When equation is all algebra: check dimensions
• When numbers are inserted: check units
• Units obey same rules as dimensions:
Never add terms with different units
• Angles are dimensionless but have units (degrees @ radians)
• In physics sin(L) @ cos(L) never occur unless L is dimensionless
Conversion of Units
are appropriate ones
**When
units
not
consistent,
you
may
need
to
convert
to
= Conversion of one unit of measure into another equivalent unit of measure
***Can be treated like algebraic quantities that can cancel each other out So, always include units for every quantity, you can carry the units through the entire calculation
Example:
350 kilometers = ? meters ?
Answer:
OrderofMagnitude & Estimation
Order of Magnitude:
= an estimate given as a power of ten
• used to make very approximate comparisons and reflect very large differences
• If two numbers have the same order of magnitude, they are about the same size
• But if we compare the surface of an orange with that of the earth the surface of the earth is many orders of magnitude larger than that of the orange
Estimation:
• It is often sufficient for an estimation to be within an order of magnitude of the value in question
• Example:
Earth is approximately 1 × 10 ^{7} meters in diameter. Which of the following could be Earth’s diameter?
A) 1,271,543 meters
C) 127,154,300 meters D) 1,271,543,000 meters
B) 12,715,430 meters
Answer: B
Uncertainty in Measurements
• No measurement is exact
• There is always some uncertainty due to limited instrument accuracy & difficulty reading results
• Example:
It would be difficult to measure the width of this piece of wood to better than a millimeter
• There is uncertainty in every measurement This uncertainty carries over through the calculations So, need a technique to account for this uncertainty
• We will use rules for significant figures to approximate the uncertainty in results of calculations
Significant Figures
= digits that carry meaning contributing to its measurement result
tell you how precise a measured value
**When we carry out calculations, we often get the result as a number with many digits. We usually do not need them all.
(a) 
1 significant figure 
60,000 
➢ Zeroes sandwiched between nonzero digits are always significant i.e.: 205 3 s.f 

(b) 
2 significant figures 
64,000 
@ 6 × 10 ^{4} @ 6.4 × 10 ^{4} @ 6.45 × 10 ^{4} @ 6.449 × 10 ^{4} @ 6.4492 × 10 ^{4} 
➢ Zeroes that come before all nonzero digits are never significant i.e.: 0.0023 2 s.f 

(c) 
3 significant figures 
64,500 

(d) 
4 significant figures 
64,490 

(e) 
5 significant figures 
64,492 

➢ Zeroes that come after nonzero digits: 

a) 83,000 2 s.f not significant 

a) 1 significant figure 
90 
b) 83,000. 5 s.f significant 

b) 3 significant figure 
92.8 
c) 83.000 5 s.f significant 

c) 5 significant figure 
92.810 
** 14 not has same s.f with 14.0 

d) 6 significant figure 
92.8106 

2 s.f 

3 s.f 
Example:
1. Let's round off 64,492 to:
2. Let's round off 92.810576 to:
3. Let's round off 0.0046753 to:
a) significant figure 
0.005 
@ 
5 × 10 ^{}^{3} 

b) 2 significant figure 
0.0047 
@ 
4.7 × 10 ^{}^{3} 

c) 
4 significant figure 
0.004675 @ 
4.675 × 10 ^{}^{3} 
Rounding Rules if there is number 5:
Examine the first figure that will be dropped:
➢ If it is <5: drop it & all figures to the right of it
➢ If it is >5: increase by 1 the figure before it; drop it & all figures to the right of it
➢ If it is =5: round the figure before it to be nearest EVEN (0,2,4,6,8); drop it & all figures to the right of it
Example:
Addition & subtraction:
Example 1:
Example 2:
L _{t} = 1.85 m
look at decimal places of the numbers d.p of final answer = d.p of the number with the LEAST d.p
Multiplication & division:
Example 1:
Example 2:
L _{t} = 0.307
look at significant figures of the numbers s.f of final answer = s.f of the number with the LEAST s.f
Examples:
i. 2.42 + 1.1 = 3.52 3.5
ii. 3.233 – 3.2 = 0.033 0.0
iii. 2.5 × 3.42 = 8.55 8.6
iv. 62,881 ÷ 97 = 648.257732 650
***Only the final answer is rounded!!! No rounding numbers in the intermediate steps of the calculation
Precision & Accuracy
Precision = a measurement of how reproducible an answer is with some piece of equipment Will get same answer when repeating the measurement
Precision of an Instrument = the smallest unit that the instrument can measure  Example:
Accuracy = a measurement of how correct a measured value is If something weighs 150 grams and you measure the weight as 130 grams, it’s not a very accurate measurement depend on the number of significant figures: higher s.f gives more accurate answer
*** Precise measurements don’t need to be accurate. *** Accurate measurements must be precise.
Extra Notes:
Guide to use Vernier calliper
Propagation of Uncertainties
Guide to use Micrometer Screw Gauge
**Guide to check ZERO ERROR for:
a) Vernier calliper
b) Micrometer screw gauge:
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