Section 1.3: Standards and Units
Not much for me to add here. This is basically a discussion of the fundamentality of length, mass, and time. They do put forth a fun term – “operational definition,” meaning a physical quantity that can be defined only by describing how it’s measured.
The one thing I’ll add that was useful for me to understand is this: When it comes to units and scientific notation, remember you’re basically dealing with a base-3 system.
Thousand = something*10^3
Million = something*10^(3+3)
Billion = something*10^(3+3+3)
Trillion = something*10^(3+3+3+3)
It’s probably an obvious insight, but it sped up my ability to parse numbers quickly, which is crucial for problems with a lot of variables to hold in your head. I think it’s useful for students to combine the terms they remember from grade school with the math they have to use in physics. So, when someone says “something something hundred” you should just think “something something times 10^2.” I think I got hung up because I would try to analyze the number spoken rather than classifying it in scientific notation. That is, I had to convince my word-oriented brain terms like “thousand,” “hundred,” “billion” and so on are just older ways of denoting powers of ten.