Interactive Self-Study Module: Units, Dimensional Analysis, and Conversion Factors


This module uses screencasts to explain engineering units, dimensional analysis, and conversion factors.  It then provides example problems for the user to test themselves. Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to ConcepTests, and you try to solve the example problems before watching the screencast solutions. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple choice ConcepTest and solve the example problem before watching the screencasts.
  2. Watch the screencasts that describe units, dimensional analysis, and conversion factors.
  3. Review the important equations.
  4. Try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  5. Answer the ConcepTests.
  6. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
  • Engineering units are used extensively in engineering calculations.  
  • This module is intended as a review for Material and Energy Balances.
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Define a quantity as having both a numerical value and units.
  • Use dimensional analysis to verify that equations have consistent units.
  • Convert units.