# Very simple conversion problem

• coffeebird
In summary, the conversation discussed the conversion of 20lb*ft to Newton*meters. The solution involved using the conversion factor of 4.448N per pound and 3.2808ft per meter, resulting in the final answer of 27.116N*m. The participants also discussed the proper method of converting units and shared helpful resources for understanding conversions.
coffeebird

## Homework Statement

convert 20lb*ft to Newton*meters

## The Attempt at a Solution

this is driving me nuts...so if 1lb= 4.448N, then we have 4.448*20 N*ft, and if there are 3.2808ft in one meter, then we should have 4.448*20*3.2808 N*m! so why is the answer instead 27.116

If there are 3.2808 ft in one meter, then how many meters are in one foot?

1/3.2808... but what's weirding me out is something i just noticed...i mean if there is that much force per foot, then shouldn't there be more force per meter?

It's not force per distance but force times distance. [Note added: 20 lb per ft would be written 20 lb/ft, but you have 20 lb*ft]

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that's actually how they wrote the problem in my online statics thing- exactly like i did (except with the multiplication dot in the middle which i don't know how to make here)

oh i see that's what you're saying, so what would a proper conversion look like step by step here?

A very simple foolproof trick for converting units is to write the conversion factor with units, and then to cancel out units as if they were algebraic variables.

$$20 (ft)(lb)=20 (ft)(lb)\frac{3.448(N)}{1(lb)} \frac{1(m)}{3.2808(ft)}= 27.116(N)(m)$$

okay, thank you : ) i guess I've just never really taken the time to write out proper conversions- i should probably start with that. so the unit you want goes on top, like meters/feet instead of feet/meters, right? and you mean 4.448 N per pound, i think?

coffeebird said:
okay, thank you : ) i guess I've just never really taken the time to write out proper conversions- i should probably start with that. so the unit you want goes on top, like meters/feet instead of feet/meters, right? and you mean 4.448 N per pound, i think?
Yes. That's right. I always do conversions this way, and it has never failed me in 50 years of experience.

Coffeebird, you may not need it but there are lots of tutorials on the web for converting units. More on Chestermiller's method here. (Annoying music thrown in for free.)

## 1. What is a "Very simple conversion problem"?

A very simple conversion problem is a mathematical problem that involves converting a quantity from one unit to another. It usually involves basic units of measurement such as length, mass, time, or temperature.

## 2. Why are conversion problems important in science?

Conversions are important in science because they allow us to express measurements in different units, making it easier to compare and analyze data. They also help us to understand the relationships between different units of measurement.

## 3. How do I solve a very simple conversion problem?

To solve a simple conversion problem, you need to know the conversion factor between the two units you are converting. Then, multiply the given quantity by the conversion factor to get the converted value. Make sure to cancel out the units that are the same on both sides of the conversion factor.

## 4. What are some common units used in conversion problems?

Some common units used in conversion problems include meters (m), centimeters (cm), kilometers (km), grams (g), kilograms (kg), liters (L), milliliters (mL), seconds (s), minutes (min), hours (hr), Celsius (°C), and Fahrenheit (°F).

## 5. Can I use the internet to help me with conversion problems?

Yes, there are many online conversion tools and calculators that can help you with simple conversion problems. However, it is important to understand the basic concepts of conversion and how to do them manually in case you do not have access to the internet during a scientific experiment or analysis.

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