1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Unity means just plain regular 1 ?

  1. Apr 2, 2012 #1
    "unity" means just plain regular "1"?

    Im not sure whether this is a physics or math question, but in many physics problems, instead of saying "1", the problem will say "unity", like "the sine of theta is unity" or the "index of refraction is unity". I am assuming "unity" means just plain regular "1"? Is there a particular reason for such funny word use?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2012 #2

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    hi kahwawashay1! :smile:
    yes, just good ol' "1" :biggrin:

    i'm not sure why, perhaps people think that if they write "the sine is one", the reader will think "one of what?", and if they write "1" it looks like I or l …

    or maybe they just like to use long words because "1" isn't big enough! :rolleyes:
     
  4. Apr 3, 2012 #3

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Re: "unity"?

    Unity is not just "one". It is a "dimensionless one". You can have 1 meter or 1 kelvin or 1 candela, but none of these are properly called "unity".
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Unity means just plain regular 1 ?
  1. Quantum Unity (Replies: 0)

Loading...