Let Your Units Be Your Pilot

I am studying stoichiometry with a student right now. It can be confusing sometimes to think about the two or three steps required to reach your final answer. We ran into a problem that required converting weight to moles of reactants, converting moles of reactants to moles of product using mole ratio, converting moles of product back to weight, and then finally calculating the percent yield. Anybody can get lost in this soup. Take the time to write down the units at each and every step. If your units don't add up, then you know that you didn't do the problem right. 
When you're down and they're counting
When your secrets all found out
When your troubles take to mounting
When the map you have leads you to doubt
When there's no information
And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well
Let your units be your pilot
Let your units guide you
They will guide you well


Hello Riham,
I replied to a different post of yours in which I pointed out the importance of units.  Sorry! - I was preaching to the choir, obviously.  You are absolutely correct and I love your poem (song?).  Thanks.
Units are even more important in physics.  Even NASA understands what can happen if miles are assumed when Km were correct.  Units should be fun, not an annoyance.  Your prose helps, I would like to hope.
It's an adaptation of a song by Sting named "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot"
I'm with you 100%! I tell my students, "if you take care of your units, your units will take care of you". Obviously, only works for problems in which the answer has units, but that's most of them.


Riham P.

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