Dimensional Analysis
What is dimensional analysis and how can we use it to help us solve problems in
chemistry?
Dimensional Analysis for Party Planning…
If you have every planned a party, you have used dimensional analysis. The amount of
beer and munchies you will need depends on the number of people you expect. For
example, if you are planning a Friday night party and expect 30 people you might
estimate you need to go out and buy 120 bottles of beer and 10 large pizza's. How did
you arrive at these numbers? The following indicates the type of dimensional analysis
solution to party problem:
Finally, in going to buy the beer, you perform another dimensional analysis: should
you buy the beer in sixpacks or in cases?
Realizing that carrying around 20 six packs is a real headache, you get 5 cases instead.
In this party problem, we have used dimensional analysis in two different ways:
•
In the first application, we have used dimensional analysis to calculate how
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 Fall '10
 LauraChoudry
 Chemistry, Mass, Conversion of units, sixpacks

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