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Glossary: Home Tables A B C D E F
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A weight, as much as a man can carry on a sholder pole, y 100 caddies, or
sixty chogs, or half a seam. Where a seam be 300 lbs, then a caddy is 160,
a caddy is then 216 drams, an tael is 13.5 drams or 40 scruples or 800 grains.
A mace is then 80 grains, a cashereen is 4/5 grains, or 19,2 mites.
pidgin Unit *
Pidgin comes from the chinese for trade. Just as one might have a
pidgin language, one might have a pidgin weights and measures, for the
use in the bazaars of asia.
- paper-weights *
A measure of paper area-density, eg pounds (per folio-ream) or grams per
A gram per square metre corresponds to 500 grams per ream of A2 sheets.
The unit corresponds to a micron depth of water.
|gsm|| weight || width || bredth || name || notes
|0.697 489 662|| 1 lb || 4 ft 6 in || 3 ft || gr/sq ft || known unit
|1.000 000 0|| 500 g || 1.1892 m || 0.84089 m || gsm || defined in area
|1.000 000 0|| 1 lb. || 37.5 in. || 37.5 in. || gsm || imperial units
|1.058 823 5|| ||
- parcircle *
A unit equal to 1/2π AU, or 79.420226 light seconds. This is the radius
of a circle having a circumference of 1 AU or 499.012 light seconds.
In a given measurement circle, if a circle is divided into k seconds, the
parsec is k parcircles. The unit is relatively base-free, and is
useful for comparing similar sized units.
1 astronomic unit = 2π or 6.283185307 parcircles.
1 terametre = 1E12 metre = 41.999 892 470 parcircles
1 light year = 365.25 light days = 397349.660 parcircles
1 H8 UL feet = 550441.807686 parcircles
1 parsec = 1296000 parcircles
1 twelfty-parsec = 1728000 parcircles.
- PBSA *
A Practical system based on powers of 60.
One can experiment with an L-style rationalisation by treating the baros
as a slug-like unit, = g-mass, and setting gravity to 4pi.
The units Coulomb, Ampere, Ohm, Henry, are reduced by 4pi, and the Farad
and Siemens are increased by 4pi.
|Length|| pace || quadrant / 60^4, = metre / 1.296
|Mass|| baros || kilogram * 1.296²
|Energy|| Joule || unchanged
|Time|| second || unchanged
|Current|| ampere || unchanged. All SI units unchanged except tesla
- Perm *
An imperial unit for fluid permeability, = gt /hr ft² inHg = -10. The
unit gives 57.452642 E-12 s/m, or 1/57.948016/c. A unit perm.inch is given
also as 1 inch by a perm, as 1.459297 e-12 s
- Pi *
The circumference of a unit-diameter euclidean circle.
The value is near 3.1415926535897, but for convenience, it has been
approximated as shown in the footnote.
- (@mgpicul picul
Pidgin units refer to systems of local denominations, but defined in the
measures of a foreign, usually colonising, power.
In india, these were used, as railway or government weights.
In the straights settlement, and points beyond, these weights are used.
|ruttee|| 1/7680 || 1 7/8 gt || 1/128 ledd
|masa|| 1/960 || 15 gt || 1/16 ledd
|toli|| 1/80 || 180 gt || 3/4 ledd
|seer|| 1 || 30 oz tr || 60 ledd
|maund|| 40 || 100 lb tr || 80 lb
A name being suggested for a twelftieth part. It derives by metathasis of
the word part.
A prefix applied to a unit generally modifies it in size, but keeps
constant some derivation.
|cash|| 1/16000 || 7/12 gt || 36 mites
|ticle|| 1/80 || 1/60 lb avoir || 120 gr
|tael|| 1/16 || 1/12 lb avoir || 600 gr
|caddy|| 1 || 1 1/3 lb avoir || 40 ledd
|picul|| 100 || 133 1/3 lb avoir || 1 1/9 cwt
In the metric system, a prefix creates multiples and submultiples
of the unprefixed unit, eg kilo- = 1000x + gram unit of weight.
In the Kenneley and UES systems, a prefix is used to
create a like unit in a different set of base units, eg ab- emu +
volt = voltage unit. The UES augments the Kennerley prefixes with
prism product *
A coherent set of units based on the measure polytope of unit size. Such
scale is the common scale in use.
prismatolatric or linear
prismatohedric or square
prismatochoric or cubic or cubical
prismatoteric or tesseractic or biquadrate.
A construction based on extant segments, not necessarily divided in that
way. For example, in Germanic traditions, a hundredweight is 120 pounds.
One might therefore suppose a proportional pound, given a hundredweight,
as 1/120 of it, even though the natural tradition is tho divide elsewise.
The avoirdepoise grain
The practice is to a large extent a feature of the Roman and Latin
systems, where units had standard divisions.
PR conversion factors*
A set of conversion factors from the Pre-metric parisian system to the
metric system. On such basis was the prototype metre and kilogram wrought.
A Metre = 443.296 lines, where 144 make the foot and 864 the toise.
A Kilogram = 18827.15 grains, where 9216 make the pound or livre.
Practical Units [Electricity] *
The set of electrical units for practical applications.
Until 1866, the units were defined in terms of a construction, such as
a resistanace equal to a mile of Nr 8 coper wire. Because of international
trade, it was decided to formalise a fixed set of units.
The decision was taken to replicate decimal multiples of the theoretical
electromagnetic units, the sizes chosen to be nearest some existing
units. All units would have proper names, but the construction would follow
the former practices.
The named units were:
Until such times as one could devise a better way, the style was to
define prototypes, usually in more refined ways. For example, the Ampere
became defined in terms of silver faradays per day.
|ohm|| chosen to be near a resistance of a metre long column, of cross
section 1 sq millimetre. This was implemented in a v-shaped groove.
|volt|| chosen to be near a Daniels cell
|ampere|| volt / ampere, later defined in terms of the silver faraday
|coulomb|| ampere second
|farad|| coulomb per volt
|henry|| formerly quadrant = ohm second
The units slightly disagree with what the intension should be, and it
is better to indicate the units as iV for international volt.
The electric units, rated originally as free-standing (like mile, hr,
mile/hr), were ampere, volt, watt, ohm, mho, coulomb, farad.
James Clarke Maxwell showed that these were the EMU of a system with
a lenth unit of 10,000 km, and mass of 0.00001 micrograms.
Gustav Mie produced a revised set of formulae, explicitly making the
constants non-unit, to the rule of cm, 10t, s, MU=10^10.
Professor Giorgi produced a system based on metres and the practical
units, giving the metre, kilogram, second, MU=10^7
The Hansen units, widely used, is mixed using practical electric
units and cgs-emu.
unit name description
Contary to later beliefs, these were never used across the full dimensionality.
eg one never measured electric currents in gilberts, although this does have
that dimensionality in SI. [cf ICT]
The metric system, as originally planned. History has taken its toll.
|gauss|| A measure of magnetic flux density B = 0.000 1 tesla
|maxwell|| A cgsm unit of magnetic flux, also height line
|oersted|| a cgsm unit of magnetic field intensity H
|gilbert|| a unit of magnetic potential = 10/4pi Amperes
In its original form, the greatest portion of measures were meant to
fall in the range of milli- to kilo- units. Prefix denominations were
provided for each of the six decimal powers in this range.
The final column shows the Wilberforce names for the dm.kg system. Unlike
the metric, it is coherent, and takes exponential numbers, eg Linn-threes, not
After the revolution, the Systeme Usuele was used for trade in the markets.
By the time that it was decided to abandon the system-usuele, and use the
metric system, the notion of having separate systems for
fineweight and coarseweights had fallen
out of favor, and the fineweight system was extended upwards.
|Angle|| Degree || 400 make the circle. (unit renamed grade) || Gradd
|Length|| Metre || 1000 metres make 0.01 degree of earth circle. || Linn
|Area|| Are || square of 10 metre side. || Arr
|Volume|| Stere || cubic metre, eg for firewood and water || Soll
|Capacity|| Litre || 0.001 cu metre, for liquid and dry capacities. || Capp
|Course Weight|| 'grave' || Litre of water. Pound-like unit || Pondd
|Fine Weight|| gram || 1000 make the course-weight unit || Pondd
|Money|| franc || 0.1 grams of silver bullion || Monn
The original time system was a decimally divided day (day \ 10 hours
\ 100 minutes \ 100 seconds), but the system works better when the day
and circle are taken as equal, and the day is divided into 40, eg
day \ 40 kilobel \ 1000 bels \ 1000 millibel. One then has a m/b and
a km/kb as identical.
The original system included a calendar. It is a mistake
to tie a calendar to the measurement system, as the french soon discovered.
Prussian System *
A system used in the North of Germany until the unification of 1871.
The units in part seem to date back to the Hansiatic league. The
English version is based on a pound found in the Tower of
London, and so called.
A foot, rated at 0.313 857 metres or 139.13 French Lignes
A pound, rated at 0.466 711 kilograms.
A quart, rated as 1/27 cubic feet, prussian measure.
A prussian hundredweight was 110 pounds, not 120, apart from this, one
has a system similar to the hansiatic one. The prussian foot was used in
various places, including Scotlant, but the length was never set to be
exact anywhere. It was for this reason that decimalisation to metric was
adopted in the Scandinavia.
© 2003-2004 Wendy Krieger