Derived Metric Units

Table of Derived Metric Units with Special Names

The derived metric units, like the joule for energy, are made by combining the base metric units.
The derived metric units, like the joule for energy, are made by combining the base metric units. Paper Boat Creative / Getty Images

The metric or SI (Le Système International d'Unités) system of units has many derived units from the seven base units. A derived unit would be a unit that is a combination of base units. Density would be an example where density = mass/volume or kg/m3.

Many derived units have special names for the properties or measurements they represent. This table lists eighteen of these specialized units along with their basic unit factors.

Many of them honor famous scientists for their work in the fields which use these units.

Note the units of radian and steradian do not actually represent any physical property to measure but are understood to be an arc length per radius (radian) or arc length x arc length per radius x radius (steradian). These units are generally considered unitless.


MeasurementDerived UnitName of UnitCombination of Base Units
plane angleradradianm·m-1 = 1
solid anglesrsteradianm2m-2 = 1
pressurePapascalN/m2 or kg/ms2
energyJjouleN·m or m2kg/s2
powerWwattJ/s or m2kg/s3
electric chargeCcoulombA·s
electromotive forceVvoltW/A or m2kg/As3
capacitanceFfaradC/V or A2s3/kg·m2
electric resistanceΩohmV/A or kg·m2/A2s4
electric conductanceSsiemensA/V or A2s4/kg·m2
magnetic fluxWbweberV·s or kg·m2/A·s2
magnetic flux densityTteslaWb/m2 or kg/A2s2
inductanceHhenryWb/A or kg·m2/A2s2
luminous fluxlmlumencd·sr or cd
illuminancelxluxlm/m2 or cd/m2
catalytic activitykatkatalmol/s
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Helmenstine, Todd. "Derived Metric Units." ThoughtCo, Sep. 21, 2016, Helmenstine, Todd. (2016, September 21). Derived Metric Units. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Todd. "Derived Metric Units." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 26, 2018).