Measurements and Mathematics Terms

(mathematics is the deductive study of quantities, magnitudes, and shapes as determined by the use of numbers and symbols while every branch of science and engineering depends on mathematics; measurement is the process of associating numbers with physical quantities and phenomena and measurement is fundamental to the sciences; to engineering, construction, and other technical fields; and to almost all everyday activities)

improper fraction
A fraction whose numerator (top number) is the same as or larger than the denominator (bottom number).
Any whole number; that is, positive and negative numbers and zero.
International System of Units, SI; Système Internationale d’Unités
All systems of weights and measures, metric and non-metric, are linked through a network of international agreements supporting the International System of Units.

The International System is called the SI, using the first two initials of its French name Système International d'Unités.

The primary agreement is the "Treaty of the Meter" or the Convention du Mètre, signed in Paris on May 20, 1875.

Forty-eight nations have signed the treaty, including all the major industrialized countries. The United States is a charter member of the metric club, having signed the original document back in 1875.

Each SI unit is represented by a symbol, not an abbreviation. The use of unit symbols is regulated by precise rules.

These symbols are the same in every language of the world; however, the names of the units themselves vary in spelling according to national procedures; therefore, it is correct for Americans to write meter and Germans to write Meter, and it is also correct for the British to write metre, Italians to write metro, and Poles to write metr.

There is no official spelling of the SI units; however, the SI does provide the names, the definitions, and the symbols of the units which must be followed even when the spellings are different as shown below.

The fundamental SI unit of length has numerous spellings

  • meter (American English, Danish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Slovak, and Swedish)
  • metr (Czech, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • metras (Lithuanian)
  • metre (British, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand English; French)
  • metri (Finnish)
  • metro (Basque, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)

A list of elements associated with the International System of Units (SI)

  • ampere (unit of measurement)
  • are (unit of area measurement)
  • atomic second
  • candela (cd) (SI unit of measurement)
  • centimeter (cm) (unit of measurement)
  • coulomb (unit of energy measurement)
  • farad (unit of measurement)
  • gram (gm or g) (measurement)
  • hectare (unit of measurement)
  • henry (unit of energy measurement)
  • hertz (unit of measurement)
  • joule (unit of energy measurement)
  • kelvin (K) (unit of measurement)
  • kilogram (kg) (unit of measurement)
  • kilometer (km) (unit of measurement)
  • liter (l) (unit of measurement)
  • lumen (unit of energy measurement)
  • lux (unit of energy measurement)
  • megohm (electronics)
  • meter (m) (measurement)
  • metric ton (unit of weight)
  • micrometer (unit of measurement)
  • millimeter (mm) (unit of measurement)
  • mole (chemistry)
  • nanometer (unit of measurement)
  • nanotesla (physics)
  • newton (unit of measurement)
  • ohm (unit of energy measurement)
  • pascal (Pa ) (unit of energy measurement)
  • second (unit of time)
  • siemens (S) (unit of energy measurement)
  • tesla (unit of energy measurement)
  • unit (measurement)
  • volt (unit of measurement)
  • watt (unit of measurement)
  • weber (unit of measurement)

Compiled partly from information located at the
Encyclopedia Britannica on line.
jansky, Jy
A unit of radiation received from outer space, used in radio astronomy.

It is equal to 10-26 watts per square meter per hertz, and is named for the U.S. radio engineer, Karl Jansky (1905-1950).

2. A unit used to indicate the strength of radio sources in astronomy.
3. A unit of work or energy in the International System of Units (SI) which is equal to the work done by a force of one newton (that force necessary to provide a mass of one kilogram with an acceleration of one meter per second per second).
joule, J
1. A metric unit of energy or work; one joule per second equals one watt or 0.737 foot-pounds; one Btu equals 1,055 joules.
2. An SI unit of work and energy, replacing the calorie (one joule equals 4.2 calories).
light-year, light-years; light year, light years
The distance traveled by a beam of light in a vacuum in one year, approximately 9.46 trillion (million million) kilometers or 5.99 trillion miles.

An an average speed of 186,291 miles or 299,792 kilometers, per second; which equals approximately 5.88 trillion miles or 9.4607 trillion kilometers, or 63,246 astronomical units.

The light-year is also divided into light-minutes and light-seconds; for example, the moon is 1.3 light-seconds from the earth; the sun is 8.3 light-minutes away from the earth.

Although a light-year is a measurement of distance and not time, it does imply time; such as, the light from a star that is ten light-years from the earth takes ten years to reach the earth; so, an observer on earth is seeing the star as it appeared ten years ago.

A short term for mathematics.

Math is the science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects

It deals with logical reasoning and quantitative calculation. Since the 17th century it has been an indispensable adjunct to the physical sciences and technology, to the extent that it is considered the underlying language of science.

Among the principal branches of math or mathematics are algebra, analysis, arithmetic, combinatorics (also called combinatorial mathematics, a branch of mathematics concerned with the selection, arrangement, and combination of objects chosen from a finite set), Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, game theory, number theory, numerical analysis, optimization, probability, set theory, statistics, topology, and trigonometry.

1. A student or an expert in mathematics, or someone whose job involves mathematics or who is versed in the procedures of mathematical science.
2. The branch of science concerned with number, quantity, and space, either as abstract ideas (pure mathematics) or as applied to physics, engineering, and other subjects (applied mathematics).
1. The study of the relationships among numbers, shapes, and quantities.

It uses signs, symbols, and proofs which includes arithmetic, algebra, calculus, geometry, and trigonometry.
2. The systematic treatment of magnitude, relationships between figures and forms, and relations between quantities expressed symbolically.
3. The calculations involved in a process, estimate, or plan; such as, it may be a simple idea, but the mathematics of it are much more complex.

Originally, mathematics was the science of numbers and quantities; however, with the birth of numerous more qualitative formalisms (including, logic, propositional calculi, set theory), with the emergence of the unifying idea of a mathematical structure, with the advent of the axiomatic method emphasizing inference, proof and the descriptions of complex systems in terms of simple axioms, and, finally, with self-reflective efforts as meta-mathematics, the term has become the autonomous science of formal constructions.

Among the principal branches of mathematics are algebra, analysis, arithmetic, combinatorics, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, game theory, number theory, numerical analysis, optimization, probability, set theory, statistics, topology, and trigonometry.

—Compiled from information located at
Encyclopedia Britannica on line.
measure, measuring
1. Dimensions, quantity, or a capacity as determined by comparisons with certain standards.
2. A unit specified by a scale; such as, a degree, or by variable conditions, for example, room temperature.
3. A system of measurement including the metric system.
4. To ascertain the dimensions, quantity, or capacity of something.
5. To mark off or apportion, usually with reference to a given unit of measurement.
6. A standard used for determining the dimensions, area, volume, or weight of something.
1. The result of measuring or the act of measuring; or a comparison of the physical quantity that is measured with a standard unit.
2. The process of associating numbers with physical quantities and phenomena.

Measurement is fundamental to the sciences; including, engineering, to construction, and other technical fields; and to almost all everyday activities. That is the reason the elements, conditions, limitations, and theoretical foundations of measurement have been studied so much.

nonagon, ennagon
A polygon (multiple angles) having nine sides.
The top number in a fraction.

The number indicates what part of the denominator is used.

obtuse angle
An angle that has a measure of more than 90° and less than 180°.
A two-dimensional geometric figure formed of eight sides and eight angles.

See this Index or Menu for a variety of other topics.