On the five base quantities of nature and SI (the international system of units)

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It is shown here that five base quantities (and the corresponding five base units) of nature are sufficient to define all derived quantities (and their units) and to describe all natural phenomena. The base quantities (and their base units) are: length (m), mass (kg), time (s), temperature (K) and electric charge (C). The amount of substance (mole) is not taken as a base quantity of nature and the Avogadro constant is not considered as a fundamental constant of nature, as they are both based on an arbitrary definition (due to the arbitrary value of 0.012 kg for the mass of 1 mole of C-12 isotope). Therefore, the amount of substance (mole) is moved from the list of base quantities to the category of the supplementary units (to be re-created after its abrogation in 1995). Based on its definition, the luminous intensity (cd) is not a base quantity (unit), therefore it is moved to the list of derived quantities (units). The ampere and coulomb are exchanged by places in the list of base and derived units, as ampere is a speed of coulombs (but SI defines meter, not its speed as a base unit). The five base quantities are re-defined in this paper by connecting them to five fundamental constants of nature (the most accurately known frequency of the hydrogen atom, the speed of light, the Planck constant, the Boltzmann constant and the elementary charge) with their numerical values fixed in accordance with their CODATA 2006 values (to be improved by further experiments).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Metallurgy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 14 2011



  • Base quantity
  • Base unit
  • Fundamental constant
  • International system of units
  • SI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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