# How does a conversion factor differ from a measurement?

Jul 4, 2018

Measurements can be made with different units. A conversion factor will show whether or not the readings are equivalent.

#### Explanation:

A measurement will be a number plus the unit used. For example:

Imagine you are measuring the length of a metal rod. You measure using a ruler with meters marked on it and you get a measurement of 0.85 m. Someone else uses a different ruler and gets a measurement of 85 cm.

Who was wrong? Neither measurement was wrong. If you multiply the the second reading by the conversion factor $\frac{1 m}{100 c m}$, the result will agree exactly with the first reading.

$85 \cancel{c m} \cdot \frac{1 m}{100 \cancel{c m}} = 0.85 m$

I hope this helps,
Steve