Dimensional Analysis

What is Dimensional Analysis?

Dimensional Analysis is a technique used in the physical sciences and engineering to reduce physical properties such as acceleration, viscosity, energy, and others to their fundamental dimensions of length (L), mass (M), and time (T). This technique facilitates the study of interrelationships of systems (or models of systems) and their properties and avoids the nuisance of incompatible units. Acceleration, for example, is expressed as L/T in dimensional analysis because it is a distance (L, length) per unit of time (T) squared; whether the actual units of length are expressed in the English or metric system is immaterial. Dimensional analysis is often the basis of mathematical models of real situations. If model results are to be translatable in terms of the system being modeled, then the model must be dimensionally faithful to the original. [Encyclopedia Britannica]


I am interested in using Dimensional Analysis (DA) in Operations Research and in using the technique in a preliminary phase in data analysis to set up dimensionless variables to be used in regression.

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Last updated on 2001 October 30