Fundamental and Derived Quantities
Category : 11th Class
(1) Fundamental quantities : Out of large number of physical quantities which exist in nature, there are only few quantities which are independent of all other quantities and do not require the help of any other physical quantity for their definition, therefore these are called absolute quantities. These quantities are also called fundamental or basic quantities, as all other quantities are based upon and can be expressed in terms of these quantities.
(2) Derived quantities : All other physical quantities can be derived by suitable multiplication or division of different powers of fundamental quantities. These are therefore called derived quantities. If length is defined as a fundamental quantity then area and volume are derived from length and are expressed in term of length with power 2 and 3 over the term of length. Note : q In mechanics, Length, Mass and Time are arbitrarily chosen as fundamental quantities. However this set of fundamental quantities is not a unique choice. In fact any three quantities in mechanics can be termed as fundamental as all other quantities in mechanics can be expressed in terms of these. e.g. if speed and time are taken as fundamental quantities, length will become a derived quantity because then length will be expressed as Speed ´ Time. and if force and acceleration are taken as fundamental quantities, then mass will be defined as Force / acceleration and will be termed as a derived quantity.
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