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dimensionless quantity

Definitions

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  • n. a quantity lacking dimension, a pure number.

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  • In dimensional analysis, a dimensionless quantity (or more precisely, a quantity with the dimensions of 1) is a quantity without any physical units and thus a pure number. Such a number is typically defined as a product or ratio of quantities which do have units, in such a way that all the units cancel out.

    Dimensionless quantities are widely used in the fields of mathematics, physics, engineering, and economics but also in everyday life. Whenever one measures any physical quantity, they are measuring that physical quantity against a like dimensioned standard. Whenever one commonly measures a length with a ruler or tape measure, they are counting tick marks on the standard of length they are using, which is a dimensionless number. When they attach that dimensionless number (the number of tick marks) to the units that the standard represents, they conceptually are referring to a dimensionful quantity.

    _Wikipedia

    February 23, 2008