Definition of fundamental unit in English:

fundamental unit


  • 1Each of a set of unrelated units of measurement, which are arbitrarily defined and from which other units are derived. For example, in the SI system the fundamental units are the metre, kilogram, and second.

    • ‘With their sights set on objectivity, precision, and repeatability, scientists around the world were strongly motivated to standardize the fundamental units of measurement.’
    • ‘The fundamental unit of physical structure is the hydrogen atom.’
    • ‘SI (Système Internationale d' Unites) uses seven different fundamental units, the meter, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, candela, and mole.’
    • ‘Those men also divided the complete circle into 360 degrees by taking the angle of the triangle as their fundamental unit and dividing this into 60 sub-units.’
    • ‘In other words, is there a fundamental unit of time that could not be divided into a briefer unit?’
    • ‘In quantum computing, the fundamental unit of information adheres to the laws of quantum mechanics which differ radically from the laws of classical physics.’
    • ‘Still, most discussion of biodiversity in community and ecosystem ecology focuses on species rather than individual traits as the fundamental units of study.’
    • ‘It is for this reason that the fundamental unit of temperature was later called the Kelvin - the name Thomson adopted after being made a Lord in 1892.’
    • ‘Pyroelectric detectors and other thermal detectors are the basis for all primary standards used to ensure that laser power and energy measurements are traceable to fundamental units.’
    • ‘In 1919, Rutherford identified the proton as the fundamental unit of positive electrical charge in the atom.’
    • ‘All fundamental unit standards and unit standards with general applicability are public property.’
    • ‘Your two questions show why the SI attempt to call current a fundamental unit is illogical.’
    • ‘Other measurements can then be defined in terms of a fundamental unit.’
    • ‘In quantum mechanics angular momentum is not a continuous variable but it is quantized: it comes in integer multiples of a fundamental unit given by Planck's constant.’
    • ‘‘This research aims to realise the fundamental unit of quantum information, the multi-level quantum system or qudit,’ he said.’
    • ‘The metric system allows easy expression of large multiples of the fundamental units via prefixes.’
    • ‘With a quantum computer, the fundamental unit of data is the ‘qubit’ (quantum bit), which can be zero, one, or combinations of zero and one.’
    • ‘There are three fundamental units we'll deal with in this course: length, time, and mass.’
    • ‘In the natural sciences, writers debated the ‘independence’ of cells, which since the 1830s had been presented as the fundamental units of life.’
    • ‘The final surprise I'll mention is that Leibniz's system of doing physics, which is based on fundamental units called monads, has got a few things in common with the modern notion of computational physics, or ‘it from bit.’’
    1. 1.1A thing that is or is perceived as being the smallest part into which a complex whole can be analysed.
      ‘the house is the fundamental unit of Basque society’
      • ‘It assumed that sovereign states formed the fundamental units of analysis for understanding international relations.’
      • ‘This theory treated nation states as the fundamental units of international relations.’
      • ‘Considering that the basic nuclear family structure has been a fundamental unit of society for generations, it is not surprising that such a statistic is met with some alarm.’
      • ‘As Barthes himself has pointed out, in other related works, more than ten years old, the fundamental unit of prose is the paragraph.’
      • ‘Biologists generally define the fundamental unit of life as the cell.’
      • ‘For example the fundamental unit of length used in all science and technology, the meter, is now stipulated in terms of how far light travels in a second, and so amending the second would alter the definition of the meter.’
      • ‘The shadow of peace assumes that geopolitical entities called nation-states are the fundamental units of analysis, and that the political and military leaders of these nation-states are the primary actors and leaders.’
      • ‘Realism identifies the group as the fundamental unit of political analysis.’
      • ‘The session further acknowledged that the family is the fundamental unit of society and holds the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children.’
      • ‘Each block can then be considered as the fundamental unit of analysis, rather than the entire page.’
      • ‘Thus traditional states will remain the fundamental unit of international relations for the foreseeable future, even though some of them may have ceased to behave in traditional ways.’
      • ‘This positive aspect of globalisation has been present in theory but not in practice, for it has failed to recognise the individual as the fundamental unit of civil society.’
      • ‘But we have to tilt the law to preserve marriage wherever possible, because the family is the fundamental unit in society.’