List of scientists whose names are used as units

Many scientists have been recognized with the assignment of their names as international units by the International Committee for Weights and Measures or as non-SI units. The International System of Units (abbreviated SI from French: Système international d'unités) is the most widely used system of units of measurement. There are seven base units and 22 derived units[1] (excluding compound units). These units are used both in science and in commerce. Two of the base SI units and 17 of the derived units are named after scientists.[2] 28 non-SI units are named after scientists. By this convention, their names are immortalised. As a rule, the SI units are written in lowercase letters, but symbols of units derived from the name of a person begin with a capital letter.

Scientists and SI units

Base unit[note 1] Derived unit

(colour legend)

Name[3][4] Life Nationality Quantity[5] SI unit Image
André-Marie Ampère[6] 1775–1836 French Electric current[7] ampere (A)
(Base unit)
William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin[8] 1824–1907 British (Irish) Thermodynamic temperature[9] kelvin (K)
(Base unit)
Blaise Pascal[10] 1623–1662 French Pressure[11] pascal (Pa)
Isaac Newton[12] 1643–1727 British (English) Force[13] newton (N)
Anders Celsius[14] 1701–1744 Swedish Temperature[15] degree Celsius (°C)
Charles-Augustin de Coulomb[16] 1736–1806 French Electric charge[17] coulomb (C)
James Watt[18] 1736–1819 British (Scottish) Power[19] watt (W)
Alessandro Volta[20] 1745–1827 Italian Electric potential[21] volt (V)
Georg Simon Ohm[22] 1789–1855 German Electrical resistance[23] ohm (Ω)
Michael Faraday[24] 1791–1867 British (English) Capacitance[25] farad (F)
Joseph Henry[26] 1797–1878 American Inductance[27] henry (H)
Wilhelm Eduard Weber[28] 1804–1891 German Magnetic flux[29] weber (Wb)
Ernst Werner von Siemens[30] 1816–1892 German Conductance[31] siemens (S)
James Prescott Joule[32] 1818–1889 British (English) Energy[33] joule (J)
Antoine Henri Becquerel[34] 1852–1908 French Radioactivity[35] becquerel (Bq)
Nikola Tesla[36] 1856–1943 Serbian[note 2]-American Magnetic flux density[37] tesla (T)
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz[38] 1857–1894 German Frequency[39] hertz (Hz)
Rolf Maximilian Sievert[40] 1896–1966 Swedish Dose equivalent of radiation sievert (Sv)
Louis Harold Gray[41] 1905–1965 British (English) Absorbed dose of radiation[42] gray (Gy)

Scientists and non-SI units

Name of the scientist[43][44] Life Nationality Quantity Unit[note 3] Image
William Gilbert 1544–1603 British (English) Magnetomotive force gilbert (Gi)
John Napier 1550–1617 British (Scottish) Magnitude (ln, dimensionless) neper (Np)
Galileo Galilei 1564–1642 Italian Acceleration gal (Gal)
Evangelista Torricelli 1608–1647 Italian Pressure torr (Torr)
René Réaumur 1683–1757 French Temperature degree Reaumur (°R)
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit 1686–1736 Polish-Dutch-German Temperature degree Fahrenheit (°F)
Johann Heinrich Lambert 1728–1777 German Luminance lambert (L)
John Dalton 1766–1844 British Mass (atomic) dalton (Da, amu)
Hans Christian Ørsted 1777–1851 Danish Magnetic field oersted (Oe)
Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss 1777–1855 German Magnetic flux density gauss (G)
Michael Faraday 1791–1867 British (English) Electric charge faraday (F)
Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille 1797–1869 French Dynamic viscosity poise (P)
Anders Jonas Ångström 1814–1874 Swedish Length angstrom (Å)
Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet 1818–1903 British Kinematic viscosity stokes (St)
William John Macquorn Rankine 1820–1872 British (Scottish) Thermodynamic temperature degree Rankine (°Ra )
James Clerk Maxwell 1831–1879 British (Scottish) Magnetic flux maxwell (Mx)
Samuel Pierpont Langley 1834–1906 American Energy intensity langley (Ly)
Ernst Mach 1838–1916 Austrian Speed Mach number (M)
John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh 1842–1919 British Acoustic impedance rayl
Wilhelm Röntgen 1845–1923 German Ionizing radiation röntgen (R)
Alexander Graham Bell 1847–1922 British (Scottish)-American Magnitude (log10, dimensionless) bel (B)
Loránd Eötvös 1848–1919 Hungarian Gravitational gradient eotvos (E)
Heinrich Kayser 1853–1940 German Wavenumber kayser
Joseph John Thomson 1856–1940 British Mass-to-charge ratio thomson (Th)
Pierre Curie

Marie Curie





Radioactivity curie (Ci)
Heinrich Mache 1876–1954 Austrian Radioactivity Mache (ME)
Peter Debye1884–1966DutchElectric dipole momentdebye (D)
Karl Guthe Jansky1905–1950AmericanSpectral IrradianceJansky (JY)

See also


  1. There are 5 base units that are not named after people: kilogram, metre, second, mole and candela.
  2. The village he was born was a part of Austrian Empire, now it is in Croatia.
  3. As a rule, the units are written in lowercase letters. But, symbols of units derived from a personal name always begin with a capital letter.



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