Why is it necessary to include units when reporting scientific measurements?
A unit of measurement is a definite magnitude of a quantity, defined and adopted by convention or by law, that is used as a standard for measurement of the same quantity. Any other value of that quantity can be expressed as a simple multiple of the unit of measurement.
Knowing the units of measurement that correspond with a number can give many informations than a digit sitting there by itself. Units can:
- It help to know the viewer about the exact amount of samples used .
- Assist in solving a mathematical problem, especially in chemistry, where you can follow the units to get to the answer;
- It help to distinguish between the measurement system that the person is using (i.e. metric or standard).
- When scientists take measurements, they generally have two goals—accuracy and precision. Accuracy means to get as close as possible to the true measurement (true value) of something. Precision means to be able to take the same measurement and get the same result repeatedly.
- Unfortunately, measurement is never 100% precise or accurate, so the true value measure of something is never exactly known. This uncertainty is a result of error.