How does a conversion factor differ from a measurement?

1 Answer
Jul 4, 2018

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


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 #(1 m)/(100 cm)#, the result will agree exactly with the first reading.

#85 cancel(cm) * (1 m)/(100 cancel(cm)) = 0.85 m#

I hope this helps,