Video: Understanding Unit Prefixes

What is 3.2 mF in microfarads?

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Video Transcript

What is 3.2 millifarads in microfarads?

Well, before we go about answering this question, we should first recall that a farad is a unit of capacitance. But what we’re being asked to do here is to convert between millifarads to microfarads. Now we can do this by first recalling that a millifarad is equivalent to one thousandth of a farad, because the prefix “milli” means one thousandth of.

However, we’re not converting between millifarads and farads. Instead, we want to convert between millifarads and microfarads. Therefore, we can also recall that a microfarad is defined as one millionth of a farad, because the prefix “micro” means one millionth of.

And so at this point, we now have a conversion between millifarads and farads and microfarads and farads. So we can connect up millifarads to microfarads via farads. The way to do this is to firstly multiply the first equation by 1000. This way, what we have is 1000 canceling on the right-hand side. And so we find that 1000 millifarads is the same thing as one farad.

Then we can say that we’ve got one millionth of a farad on the right-hand side of the second equation. Or in other words, we’ve got one millionth of 1000 millifarads, because one farad, as we’ve seen, is the same thing as 1000 millifarads. And so when we substitute in the top equation to the bottom equation, we find that one microfarad is the same thing as one millionth of 1000 millifarads.

And hence, this fraction on the right-hand side becomes 1000 divided by 1000000 millifarads. This simplifies to one thousandth of a millifarad. And hence, one microfarad is the same thing as one thousandth of a millifarad. Rearranging the equation, we find that 1000 microfarads is the same thing as one millifarad.

And therefore, when we’re trying to find 3.2 millifarads in microfarads, we can multiply this equation by 3.2 on both sides. This way, we’re left with 3.2 millifarads on the right-hand side. And on the left-hand side, we’re left with 3200 microfarads. Hence, we have our final answer. 3.2 millifarad in microfarads is 3200 microfarads.

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