Searching the Chemical Literature by Gould R.F. (ed.)

By Gould R.F. (ed.)

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Laser based experiments can measure the progress of chemical reactions on a timescale of 10−15 s. Therefore, scientific papers that report such experiments use femtoseconds, fs, to report time. 1, of course. Some units comprise combinations of these base units and therefore are termed derived units. The SI unit for energy, for example, is the joule (J), and 1 J is defined as 1 kg m2 s−2. In principle, any quantity could be expressed in terms of appropriate combinations of SI base units. But in practice, many other units are so firmly entrenched that they remain in common use.

Matter is anything that has mass and can be observed. We are so often in contact with matter that we tend to accept our intuitive feel for its existence as an adequate definition. When we study chemistry, however, we need to be aware that some of what we observe in nature is not matter. For example, light is not considered matter because it has no mass. When we take a close look at matter—in this case aluminum—we can see that various questions arise. The behavior of the aluminum in a can is predictable.

2 Prefixes used in the SI system Factor Name Name Symbol Y 10 −1 deci d zetta Z 10−2 centi c 1018 exa E 10−3 milli m 1015 peta P 10−6 micro μ 1012 tera T 10−9 nano n 109 giga G 10−12 pico p 106 mega M 10−15 femto f atto a 24 yotta 1021 10 10 3 Symbol Factor −18 kilo k 10 102 hecto h 10−21 zepto z 101 deka da 10−24 yocto y provides another interesting example of units. Laser based experiments can measure the progress of chemical reactions on a timescale of 10−15 s. Therefore, scientific papers that report such experiments use femtoseconds, fs, to report time.

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