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Chapter: 1 Units and fundamental constants
    Section: 1.1 Units
        SubSection: 1.1.4 Standard specifications for units and quantities

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1.1.4 Standard specifications for units and quantities

The document ‘Le Système International d’Unités (SI)’ first published by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in 1970 is the definitive description of the SI system. Its authorized English translation is:

   SI—The International System of Units, 6th Edn (1993), ed R. J. Bell (NPL), HMSO.

The incorporation of SI units in international standard specifications has been extensively discussed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and international standards dealing with the definitions of quantities, units of measurement, and symbols have been issued. These are published as British Standards by the British Standards Institution. They include:

ISO 1000–1992 (BS 5555:1993): Specifications for SI units and recommendations for the use of their multiples and of certain other units.
ISO 31:1981 (BS 5775:1982): Specification for quantities, units and symbols. (Note: the various parts of this have been updated in the years shown).
   Part 0:   General principles (1987)
   Part 1:   Space and time (1989)
   Part 2:   Periodic and related phenomena (1989)
   Part 3:   Mechanics (1989)
   Part 4:   Heat (1989)
   Part 5:   Electricity and magnetism (1989)
   Part 6:   Light and related electromagnetic radiations (1989)
   Part 7:   Acoustics (1989/1993)
   Part 8:   Physical chemistry and molecular physics (1989)
   Part 9:   Atomic and nuclear physics (1989)
   Part 10: Nuclear reactions and ionizing radiations (1989)
   Part 11: Mathematical signs and symbols for use in the physical sciences and technology (1987)
   Part 12: Dimensionless parameters (1987)
   Characteristic numbers (1993)
   Part 13: Solid state physics (1989/1993).

Another useful publication is:

E. R. Cohen and P. Giacomo (1987 Revision) Symbols, Units, Nomenclature and Fundamental Constants in Physics, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Document IUPAP-25.


A.E.Bailey

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