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

Question regarding System of Units

  1. Oct 16, 2006 #1
    Im following a British curriculum for high schools ( known as A levels ) . Im reading stuff from this forum and i come across differences in notation used by the British and the Americans ..... plus differences in units ..... why is this so ???? why couldnt u guys settle on one universal system of units , notations etc .... wouldnt it have been much better if u could follow one system ???? some follow the American way and some the English ...... plus I dont know if americans follow SI or not , but the british certainly dont follow it all the time .
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I really really really dislike anything other than SI. It's very frustating when remembering all those conversion factors.

    That said, you've got to learn to use both, so live with it.
  4. Oct 16, 2006 #3
    are there any specific reasons why they would prefer using thier own units and notations than use a universal one ?????
  5. Oct 16, 2006 #4

    Meir Achuz

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Gaussian units are much easier to use in calculations.
    That is why most physicists use them for their own work, but teach SI units for a living.
  6. Oct 16, 2006 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The Yanks call their antequated units system "English" to try and persuade themselves that it's somehow not their fault that they don't use SI.

    At university, the main difference between mechanical and aerospace engineering in the first year was that the wingies used imperial units (due to the aerospace industry being predominately US based) and the clankies used SI, because it's sensible.

    I find it pretty easy to be conversant in both, although I'll only ever use imperial units in conversational contexts.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Question regarding System of Units
  1. System of base units (Replies: 9)

  2. Cgs unit systems (Replies: 8)