Chemistry Discussion Do Units Matter

Units must go along with measurements. Without units, the measurement is ambiguous and not appropriate for problem solving.


  • CO 1: Discuss the importance of chemistry in our society.
  • MO 1: Describe the use of chemistry and chemicals in our society.
  • MO 3: Describe the units of measurement and how these are converted into other units (that is, conversion factors).
  • MO 4: Describe and manipulate significant figures and scientific notation.


Respond to the following:
Consider the following scenario.

A child asked a clerk, “How much is that lollipop?” The clerk responded that the candy was worth “three.” The child’s father asked how far away the nearest grocery store was. The clerk told the child’s father it was “twelve away from here.”

  • Are units important in this example?
  • What extra information would units give the child or his father to clear up any ambiguity?

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