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23 Feb 2006 - 23:05

dimensional analysis word problems & answers

I spent some time yesterday cruising the internet looking for dimensional analysis problems for Christopher.

They're hard to come by.

Here's a pretty good selection for kids in the 4th to maybe 8th grade range. (Actually, you could use these problems with any beginner.)

I've included everything inside this post, but I've also created separate pages that ought to be easy to print out, using the 'printable' tab at the top of the screen. (I think these two pages are editable by everyone, so you ought to be able to add your own problems, take problems away, increase or decrease the space between items, etc.

For future reference, all of these pages can be found in math lessons and in the Book-Style Index.

dimensional analysis word problems to print
answers to Gisele Glosser's problems only

10 problems by Gisele Glosser

1 kilometer = 0.6 miles
1 mile = 1.6 km
1 fathom = 6 feet
1 meter = 3.3 feet
1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
1 mile = 5280 ft
C = 5/9 • (F – 32)
1 m = 100 cm

1. A dolphin dives to 24 feet. How many fathoms is this below the surface of the water?

2. The deepest part of the ocean is the Marianas Trench; its depth is 11.03 km. How many feet is that?

3. The largest whale measured 33.27 meters in length. How many feet is this?

4. The average temperature of the oceans is 3.9° C. What is this in Fahrenheit?

5. The highest tides on planet Earth occur near Wolfville, in Nova Scotia’s Minas Basin. The water level at high tide can be as much as 16 meters higher than at low tide! How many feet is this?

6. Sunlight only reaches 30 to 120 meters under the waves. Convert this to feet.

7. A blue whale can weight up to 280, 000 pounds. That’s larger than the largest dinosaur. How many kilograms is that? (Round your answer to the nearest whole kg.)

8. Previous studies suggest that the expected global warming from the greenhouse effect could raise sea level approximately 100 centimeters in the next century or two. What is this in feet?

9. If all the ice in glaciers and ice sheets melted, the sea level would rise by about 80 meters, or how many feet?

10. The longest river is the Nile River, in Egypt, Africa. It is 4,160 miles long and flows northward into the Mediterranean Sea. How long is it in km?

copyright © 2001 Gisele Glosser (from Math Goodies - can’t find URL, but Gisel Glosser seems to have worksheets posted at schoolhousetech)

2 problems by Donna Young

1. Convert 640 ounces into pints.

2. If 20 shillings equal 1 pound, how many shillings does 1000 pounds equal?

2 problems from Chemistry 192

1. How many seconds are there in 1.2 weeks?

2. If a recipe calls for 37 grams of sugar, how many pounds does that correspond to?

Carolyn's real-life problem

Carolyn & Bernie are going to buy a new car, which they will drive 13,000 miles a year.
They've narrowed their choices down to a Honda Civic or a Dodge Caravan.
The Honda gets 35 miles per gallon.
The Caravan gets 25 miles per gallon.
If gas is \$4 per gallon, how much money will they save on gasoline each year driving the Civic?

problem from Lesley Stevens

An example of the kind of math my job requires:

2.2 pounds = 1 kilogram
1 gram = 1000 milograms
1 liter = 1000 milliliters

You need to administer an IV drug to a dog.

Part 1:

The dosage is 20mg per kg of body weight. The drug is in a solution of 5g per 1 Liter. The dog weighs 66lbs. How many mL of solution do you need?

Part 2:

IV drugs can be administered using a drip set which delivers a set quanity of liquid at an adjustable rate.

You need to administer the drug over a period of 4 hours. Your drip set delivers 1mL of liquid per 8 drips. At what rate (in drips per minute) do you need to set your drip set?

problem #3 from Saxon 8/7 Lesson 96

The Adams' car has a 16-gallon gas tank. How many tanks of gas will the car use on a 2000-mile trip if the car averages 25 miles per gallon?

1.Convert 640 ounces into pints.
640 oz/1 x 1 pt/16 oz
40 pts

2. If 20 shillings equal 1 pound, how many shillings does 1000 pounds equal?
1000 pounds/1 x 20 shillings/1 pound
20,000

1. How many seconds are there in 1.2 weeks?

1 week = 7 days
1 day = 24 hours
1 hour = 60 min
1 min = 60 seconds
1.2 weeks x 7 days/1 week x 24 hrs/1 day x 60 min/1 hr x 60 s/1 min = 7.3 x 105 seconds

2. If a recipe calls for 37 grams of sugar, how many pounds does that correspond to?
Given: 37 grams
Want: lbs
Know: 453.59 g = 1 lb

37 g x 1 lb/453.59 g = 8.2 x 10-2 lb

Chem 192 problems:
Chemistry 192 Worksheets
Chemistry 192 worksheet

problem #3 from Saxon 8/7 Lesson 96

The Adams' car has a 16-gallon gas tank. How many tanks of gas will the car use on a 2000-mile trip if the car averages 25 miles per gallon?
2000 miles x 1 gal/25 miles x 1 tank/16 gal
5 tanks

dimensional analysis word problems & answers
dimensional analysis word problems to print
dimensional analysis word problems answer key only for Gisele Glosser's problems

-- CatherineJohnson - 23 Feb 2006

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HEY! You are awesome!

These are perfect for the unit-conversion-workout-weekend Ben will be having this weekend.

-- CarolynJohnston - 24 Feb 2006

Good practice, although I have a minor correction and a few quibbles:

- Unit in answer to Gisele's number 7 given as feet instead of kilograms.

- Donna's first problem is not completely specified:

Ounces generally refers to weight, but can be troy or "regular" (avoirdupois) - volume is measured in fluid ounces, plus US and UK fluid ounces are slightly different.

Likewise, while pint is always a volume measurement, there are UK pints, US fluid pints, and US dry pints, all slightly different.

This question illustrates one of the reasons why the metric system is often portrayed as superior to "traditional" measurement systems - there is no confusion about which units are which.

- Also, in recipies (at least in the US) sugar is usually measured by volume, unless the recipie calls for a LOT of sugar (a pound or more) so this is an unlikley conversion.

-- AndyLange - 24 Feb 2006

A practical problem, to show why you might want dimensional analysis even if you're a "gearhead".

You are almost finished working on your BMW, and the shop manual says to tighten the last bolt to 7 Nm (Newton-meters). Your torque wrench is calibrated in foot-pounds. What should you set your torque wrench to?

1 N = 0.225 lbs. 1 m = 3.28 ft.

7.00 Nm * 0.225 lbs/N * 3.28 ft/m = 5.17 ft.lbs. (Note that all terms are rounded to three significant digits.)

Tricky aside:

1 N = 1 kg*m/sec2

But you can't do a direct conversion from kg (weight) to lbs. As used here, kg is a measure of mass, and lbs. is a measure of force. You would need to add in gravitational acceleration to convert from one to the other. One pound is the force exerted by one slug (approximately 32.2 pounds mass) when accelerated at 1 foot/sec2.

-- DougSundseth - 24 Feb 2006

That gravitational constant will get you every time. Just like the confusion between pounds force and pounds mass, there is confusion over whether to interpret kg (in the real world) as a mass or force. In many technical articles I read, authors are very sloppy about this. Another big problem is density, often described by the greek letter rho, which should be based on mass. If you want a weight density, you are really talking about rho * g. You have to look carefully at the units and assume nothing.

Keep in mind that dimensional analysis is not just doing unit conversions. It is using units to make sure that you have your equations correct. The formal process of dimensional analysis is about using this idea to create correct equations. As I mentioned before, it is quite magical to see how this works.

-- SteveH - 24 Feb 2006

I always thought unit conversion problems were a lot of fun.

An example of the kind of math my job requires:

2.2 pounds = 1 kilogram
1 gram = 1000 milograms
1 liter = 1000 milliliters

You need to administer an IV drug to a dog.

Part 1:

The dosage is 20mg per kg of body weight. The drug is in a solution of 5g per 1 Liter. The dog weighs 66lbs. How many mL of solution do you need?

Part 2:

IV drugs can be administered using a drip set which delivers a set quanity of liquid at an adjustable rate.

You need to administer the drug over a period of 4 hours. Your drip set delivers 1mL of liquid per 8 drips. At what rate (in drips per minute) do you need to set your drip set?

-- LesleyStevens - 24 Feb 2006

These are perfect for the unit-conversion-workout-weekend Ben will be having this weekend.

YAY!

It took me HOURS to do this post.....

ay-yi-yi as Ricky Ricardo would say...

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Feb 2006

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Feb 2006

Extra credit for adults. Given that

1 inch = 2.54 centimeters (by definition)

what are the exact relationships between miles and kilometers?

The values above are quite close but not exact.

-- SusanJ - 24 Feb 2006

Can someone check my answer to Carolyn's problem?

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Feb 2006

yeah, I took Gisele's answer off my own answer sheet - didn't check to see if the number was right, though -

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Feb 2006

Carolyn's problem does not have enough information. The question asks, "if gas goes up to \$4 per gallon, how much money will they save," but does not state what the current price is. Do you mean, "Assuming that gas costs \$4 per gallon, how much cheaper is the gas cost per year to operate the Civic?"

There are other cost factors involved, as well. Caravans probably cost more in repairs -- I read horror stories online about how they basically stop running after 150K miles, whereas a Honda is just getting warmed up at 150K. The comprehensive insurance is probably higher for the Civic, since they are more frequently stolen than are Caravans.

-- GoogleMaster - 24 Feb 2006

Lesley

I love that problem!

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Feb 2006

Carolyn's problem does not have enough information.

Hey, how did this become MY problem?

It's not my problem.

I have no problems.

-- CarolynJohnston - 24 Feb 2006

I have no problems.

That's only if you traded the Caravan for the Civic. ;-)

-- GoogleMaster - 24 Feb 2006

An nonmetric unit of length, originally defined as the lengths of three "average size" barleycorns laid end-to-end, but now more rationally defined as 2.54 cm. An older definition no longer used was 1 meter = 39.37 inches, giving 2.54000508 cm/inch.

12 inches are called 1 foot.

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Feb 2006

Does this mean that we need to trade in our old yardsticks? Or our metersticks?

-- GoogleMaster - 24 Feb 2006

Probably both, unless your meterstick is fairly new.

From the NIST web page, as of 1980 the definition of a meter was changed to: The meter is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.

Actually, I wouldn't bother with a tradein unless your yardstick or meterstick can be read to 2 parts in a million. None of mine are that precise.

-- AndyLange - 26 Feb 2006

"The meter is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second."

Beats trekking to the North pole.

1/10,000,000 of the distance between the equator and either pole

-- CharlesH - 26 Feb 2006

That's only if you traded the Caravan for the Civic. ;-)

We did (get a civic instead of a caravan).

-- CarolynJohnston - 26 Feb 2006

WebLogForm
Title: dimensional analysis word problems & answers
TopicType: WebLog
SubjectArea: HighSchoolMath, MiddleSchoolMath, ParentsTeachingKids
LogDate: 200602231805