If i have something like 0.05 (mg/kg/day)^-1 and i want to convert that into g/kg/day, do i just divide 0.05 by 1000? that "^-1" is throwing me off.

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- Jul 19th 2010, 06:30 AMMottoV2question about converting units
If i have something like 0.05 (mg/kg/day)^-1 and i want to convert that into g/kg/day, do i just divide 0.05 by 1000? that "^-1" is throwing me off.

- Jul 19th 2010, 06:50 AMAlso sprach Zarathustra
5^{-1} =1/5

(a)^{-1}=1/a

(0)^{-1}:=1/0 , undefined. - Jul 19th 2010, 07:32 AMAckbeet
I think you need to be a little more careful with your parentheses. You also need to be careful which division symbol is "bigger". Do you have ((mg/kg)/day)^(-1), or do you have (mg/(kg/day))^(-1)? Or is the exponent -1 applied to something less than the entire units expression? Keep in mind that units obey certain algebraic rules: kg + kg = kg, kg/kg = 1, etc.

Overall, I'd say the best strategy is correctly to simplify your units expression into one fraction: [units]/[units]. Then pick the units you want to change, and multiply by the correct unit factor. A unit factor is like (12 in)/(1 ft)=1. You can multiply by the cleverly chosen unit factor so that the units you don't want cancel, and you're left with the units you do want. Make sense?