Wed September 07, 2011 By:

What is dimensional analysis?

Expert Reply
Thu September 08, 2011
In physics and all science, dimensional analysis is a tool to find or check relations among physical quantities by using their dimensions. The dimension of a physical quantity is the combination of the basic physical dimensions (usually mass, length, time, electric charge, and temperature) which describe it; for example, speed has the dimension length per unit time, and may be measured in meters per second, miles per hour, or other units. Dimensional analysis is based on the fact that a physical law must be independent of the units used to measure the physical variables. A straightforward practical consequence is that any meaningful equation (and any inequality and inequation) must have the same dimensions in the left and right sides. Checking this is the basic way of performing dimensional analysis.
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