Physical Unit Terminology

In law:

Except as specifically and prominently noted, all numbers represented with Arabic numerals are base 10, with the fractional portion (if any) separated from the integral portion by a single period, which appears nowhere else in the number.

Time on the scale of days and larger is measured on a solar calendar, except when an absolutely precise, well-defined, and repeatable time interval is appropriate.   A day is the time it takes for the earth to complete one rotation about its axis.   A year is the time it takes for the earth to complete one revolution around the sun, rounded to whole days using the Gregorian method.   Each year begins on the twelfth day counting from the day on which the winter solstice falls.   Each week is seven days in length, and each day is part of exactly one week.   The year is divided into twelve months of roughly equal length, each no less than 28 days in length nor more than 31 days, as delineated in the Gregorian method.   Each day is part of exactly one month.   When law specifies a duration of one month, it signifies a period of 30 days and some fraction of a day, ending at midnight at the end of the day which is the 30th day following the starting day, with the starting day considered the 1st.

Time on scales smaller than a day, and whenever a precise, well-defined, and repeatable time interval is appropriate, is measured in hours, minutes, seconds, and fractions of a second.   A minute is exactly 60 seconds, and an hour is exactly 60 minutes.   A second is the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom.

The meter is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum with no gravitational effects during a time interval of 1/299792458 of a second.   .0254 meter is one inch, twelve inches is one foot, three feet is one yard, and 5280 feet is one mile.

One liter is the volume of a cube each face of which is one tenth of a meter wide.   A gallon is 3.785412 liters, four quarts is a gallon, two pints is a quart, two cups is a pint, and eight fluid ounces is a cup.

The kelvin is the fraction 1/273.16 of the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point (point at which solid, liquid, and gaseous forms coexist in equilibrium, under some particular pressure) of water. To convert from Celsius to kelvin, add 273.15 to the Celsius temperature.   To convert from Fahrenheit to kelvin, add 459.67 to the Fahrenheit temperature, then divide that sum by 1.8.

A gram is one twelfth the mass of 6.022142E+23 chemically unbound carbon 12 atoms at rest and in their ground state (E+23 representing multiplication by the 23rd power of ten).

A pound of mass is equal to 453.59231 grams, an ounce of mass is one sixteenth of a pound of mass, and a ton of mass is 2000 pounds of mass.

A degree is 1/360 of a rotational sweep through a full circle.

Variants of the foregoing units with Greek or Latin scaling prefixes have their recognized meanings.   Defined as the power of ten to which it corresponds, they are: yotta-, 24; zetta-, 21; exa-, 18; peta-, 15; tera-, 12; giga-, 9; mega-, 6; kilo-, 3; hecto-, 2; deca-, 1; deci-, -1; centi-, -2; milli-, -3; micro-, -6; nano-, -9; pico-, -12; femto-, -15; atto-, -18; zepto-, -21; yocto-, -24.

One newton is the force that accelerates one kilogram at one meter per second per second.

A pound of force is equal to 4.448222 newtons, an ounce of force is one sixteenth of a pound of force, and a ton of force is 2000 pounds of force.

Any other physical unit used in law or state-enforceable contract must be defined as some precise algebraic combination of the above units, with fully enumerated integer constants as necessary.   No further restrictions can be imposed on units used in state-enforceable contracts.



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