What Is a Derived Quantity?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 29, 2020 3:19:37 PM ET
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A derived quantity is a quantity that is based on the result of a systematic equation that includes any of the seven basic quantities, which are the kilogram, meter, second, ampere, kelvin, mole and candela. Examples of derived quantities include area (square meters), speed (meters per second) and frequency (hertz).


Most derived quantities have been assigned special names and symbols because of their complexity of presenting them using base units. An example of this is the newton, which is a unit of force that equates to the amount of force needed to accelerate 1 kilogram by 1 meter per second per second. Two of the derived quantities, the radian and steradian, are dimensionless.