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Sofware to check equation units

  1. Nov 6, 2012 #1
    Hello everybody!

    Once again, someone searched elsewhere in September a project topic for her software class, and I suggested one in November , so this topic as well must be available to other people...

    A piece of software could check that the units of an equation fit together, like: a pressure equals a force per surface unit, not per volume unit.

    Such an application needs a decent user interface, preferably where the inputted equation can be read permanently. But the input can be made by menus if they're fast and convenient; you don't have to interpret an equation typed as a text by the user.

    You need to process +-*/^ which includes sqrt(). Users shall know by themselves what to do with sin() and others.

    I want the application to know constants like µ or h or flux quantum to limit user errors, and I'd prefer to click on "newton" instead of "force". The application can be limited to SI units, but it must know less frequent units like Jansky or Eötvös, and of course optics and radioactivity units. A user will typically launch the application in areas he's less easy with. This is where the application improves over hand-checking.

    Possible refinements, not urgent:
    - Other unit systems, especially CGS
    - Unit systems that take c=1, h/2pi=1, µ=eps=1...

    Nice small project, and it would be really useful to many people from time to time.
    Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2012 #2
    I wrote "Newton" preferred to "Force", I see these advantage:
    If the user means a force but uses kg instead of N, the software will detect it.
    The software might also check if MPa are used together with mm2, not m2.

    As a diagnostic, I prefer a synthetic answer like "discrepancy by one pressure", not its equivalent in kg, m and s.
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