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Technique used in the physical sciences and engineering to reduce physical properties such as acceleration, viscosity, energy, and others to their fundamental dimensions of length, mass, and time. This technique facilitates the study of interrelationships of systems (or models of systems) and their properties. Acceleration, for example, is expressed as length per unit of time squared; whether the units of length are in the English or metric system is immaterial. Dimensional analysis is often the basis of mathematical models of real situations.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on dimensional analysis, visit Britannica.com.