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SL#14 How to use Conversion Factors (a.k.a. Dimensional Analysis)
Problem: 5,195 g equals how many kilograms?
Step 1 Write down the starting value with its units g
Step 2 Make a fraction out of this number by putting it over g 1
Step 3 Find an equivalency that has both the unit you are starting with and the unit you want to convert to g 1 =1 kg1000 g
Step 4 Turn your equivalency into a fraction by putting the number with the unit you are converting to on top g 1 =1 kg1000 g Because we are converting from grams to kilograms, “1 kg” goes on top.
Step 5 Multiply the two fractions, making sure to cancel like units g 1 1 kg 1000 g X = 5195 kg 1000
Step 6 Complete the mathematical operation and then circle your answer. = kg 5195 g 1 1 kg 1000 g X = 5195 kg 1000
You have just calculated that 5,195 g equals kg! Way to go!
Another Example… 2.4 kilometers equals how many meters? Note: 1 km = 1000 m
Step 1 Write down the starting value with its units. 2.4 km
Step 2 Make a fraction out of this number by putting it over km 1
Step 3 Find an equivalency that has your starting unit and your finishing unit. 2.4 km 1 =1000 m1 km
Step 4 Turn your equivalency into a fraction by putting the number with the unit you are converting to on top. 2.4 km 1 =1000 m1 km
Step 5 Multiply the two fractions, making sure to cancel like units. 2.4 km m 1 km X = 2400 m 1
Step 6 Complete the mathematical operation and then circle your answer. = 2400 m 2.4 km m 1 km X = 2400 m 1
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