Hey, maths people

March 17, 2010 Ka'ela Ja'el
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One of my mottos in life is “Maths is evil.” I don’t ‘get’ maths. It is confusing and nasty, but, unfortunately, on occasion, it’s necessary. Other times it just sneaks up on me and attacks when I am looking in some totally innocent quarter. Then it jumps out at me spouting gibberish. Which is what it did today.

So, can someone interpret this for me?


…speeds of 200 cm s-1

Huh? I understand 200 cm. I am pretty sure the s mean seconds, but what does the little –1 mean?

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kathrynlinge  |  March 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

    c m-1 = centimeters per second. You could also write it like cm/s
    This is a unit of velocity (i.e. length unit per time unit) – kilometers per hour is another unit of velocity for example
    (and 200 cm/s = 720 km/hr unless i’ve done something very stupid in the conversion 😉

    • 2. Ka'ela Ja'el  |  March 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you! See, that I understand…I don’t see why it had to be complicated by adding extra numbers that don’t mean anything 🙂

      • 3. shrydar  |  March 23, 2010 at 7:59 am

        It just means you’re dividing by seconds instead of multiplying. If it was an acceleration you’d have a -2 – as it would be a rate of change of velocity, or ((cm per second) per second), just as positive powers mean you’re multiplying; areas are in m2, or meters * meters.

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