Arb. Units

Disscussing old, rare, very specific or otherwise uncommon units and measurements
Forum rules
Dear forum visitors,

Our forum has been available for many years. In September 2014 we decided to switch it to read-only mode. Month after month we saw less posts with questions and answers from real people and more spam posts. We were spending more and more resources cleaning the spam until there were less them 1 legitimate message per 100 spam posts. Then we decided it's time to stop.

All the posts in the forum will be available and searchable. We understand there are a lot of useful information and we aren't going to remove anything. As for the new questions, you can always ask them on FaceBook page

Thank you for being with us and sorry for any inconveniences this could caused.

Arb. Units

Postby johniwaniszek » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:32 pm

I frequently run into 'arb. units' when working with blood coagulation rates. However, I have not been able to find an explanation of what these units refer to, how they are calculated, and whether they have conversion equivalencies. Does anyone here know anything about arb. units or have a reference I can use to learn about them?

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:23 pm

Arb Units

Postby Dordhs » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:34 am

I found an arb front bumper here locally used. The guy doesnt know what it fits??? My question to you, is there any way to find out what it will fitpart # or stamping on the bumper itself?? Any help would be appreciated.

Re: Arb. Units

Postby Swaraj » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:15 am

Arbitrary unit means that you cannot calibrate your data or compare to other data. "Arbitrary" means you produced it.

In other words, if you walk in the mountains, and you measure your distance with a stick, then, as a scientist, you'd write "the distance was 5000 au", without any information about the length of your stick.

Or a more serious example: imagine you're looking at a cell through a microscope, and would like to say how big the cell is, but you don't have a scale in milimeters. Then you could put a small object, let's call it a "red ball" next to the cell, and when you say "my cell was two red balls wide", then you're using your arbitrary unit of "red ball".

Since i am working in the field of non-linear optics, i have found the use of arb. units for 'Intensity', 'Conversion Efficiency' in a no. of journals.

More info

  • List of all units you can convert online
  • Metric conversion
  • Convert pounds to gallons
  • Convert grams to cups
  • Grams to milliliters
  • Imperial vs US Customary
  • History of measurement
  • Return to Exotic units

    Our Privacy Policy       Cooking Measures Converter       Metric conversions