Physical quantities that are sometimes used as units alongside SI units

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As explained in Introduction to SI units, physicists sometimes use quantities expressed in terms of fundamental constants of nature, alongside or instead of SI units. These fundamental constants include:


Kind of quantity

Physical quantity used as a unit measurement

Commonly used symbol


speed of light in a vacuum


Planck constant divided by [1]


electron rest mass

electric charge

elementary charge


Hartree energy[2]


Bohr radius[3]


ratio of action to energy



[1]  is often also called the “reduced Planck constant”


[2] The hartree or the Hartree energy (sometimes also referred to by the symbol Ha) is the atomic unit of energy and is defined as  where  is the Rydberg constant,  is the Planck constant and  is the speed of light in a vacuum. It is approximately the electric potential energy of the hydrogen atom in its ground state and approximately twice its ionization energy (the relationships are not exact because of the finite mass of the nucleus of the hydrogen atom and relativistic corrections). It is usually used as a unit of energy in atomic physics and computational chemistry. For experimental measurements at the atomic scale the electron volt is more commonly used. It also satisfies the following relationships:




where  is the reduced Planck constant,  is the electron rest mass,  is the elementary charge,  is the Bohr radius,  is the electric constant (i.e. permittivity of free space),  is the speed of light in a vacuum and  is the fine structure constant.


[3] The Bohr radius, , is approximately equal to the most probable distance between the proton and electron in a hydrogen atom in its ground state (according to the Bohr model of an atom). Its precise definition is (using definitions as above):



The Nematrian website makes available a range of web functions that provide in programmatic form best estimates of the values of a wide range of physical constants, sourced from


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