Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Of order unity

  1. Nov 22, 2005 #1
    While reading a physics text, I came across an equation
    [tex]l' = l + \alpha\,a[/tex], where [tex]\alpha[/tex] is the order of unity. What exactly does this phrase mean (ie if I knew l and a, what would [tex]\alpha[/tex] be?)
    thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2005 #2

    vanesch

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Guess what was written was " is of order unity", no ?

    It means that [itex] \alpha[/itex] is a number that is not very far from 1, say 2 or 3 or so. Not 12352.0 and not 0.00002345.
     
  4. Nov 22, 2005 #3
    Yes, that is exactly what was written.
    so if I am doing a calculation based on this statement, what could I give the value of l' to be assuming I knew the precise values of l and a?
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook