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 unitsEdit

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-Scottish) 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 becquerel (Bq)  
Nikola Tesla[35] 1856–1943 Serbian[note 2]-American Magnetic flux density[36] tesla (T)  
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz[37] 1857–1894 German Frequency[38] hertz (Hz)  
Rolf Maximilian Sievert[39] 1896–1966 Swedish Dose equivalent of radiation[citation needed] sievert (Sv)  
Louis Harold Gray[40] 1905–1965 British (English) Absorbed dose of radiation[41] gray (Gy)

Scientists and non-SI unitsEdit

Name of the scientist[42][43] 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)  
Marie Curie

Pierre Curie





Radioactivity Curie (Ci)    
Heinrich Mache 1876–1954 Austrian Radioactivity Mache (ME)  
Peter Debye 1884–1966 Dutch Electric dipole moment debye (D)  
Karl Guthe Jansky 1905–1950 American Spectral Irradiance jansky (JY)  
Wallace Clement Sabine 1868–1919 American Sound absorption sabin  

See alsoEdit


  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.


  1. ^ Essential of the SI
  2. ^ Derived SI units with special names
  3. ^ Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Elektrik Mühendisliği pp. 247–275
  5. ^ Young and Freedman, p. A-1
  6. ^ Marie Ampere
  7. ^ Ampere on Dictionary
  8. ^ Kelvin, Lord William Thomson
  9. ^ Inventors
  10. ^ Blaise Pascal
  11. ^ Pa Pascal pressure unit
  12. ^ Isaac Newton's life
  13. ^ Newton
  14. ^ Anders Celsius (1701–1744)
  15. ^ Celsius Definition
  16. ^ Charles Augustin de Coulomb (French Physicist)
  17. ^ Coulomb
  18. ^ BBC Historic figures
  19. ^ Watt conversion)
  20. ^ Inventor Alessandro Volta Biography
  21. ^ Volt
  22. ^ "Georg Simon Ohm". St. Andrews University. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  23. ^ Ohm (unit)
  24. ^ Michael Faraday
  25. ^ Farad
  26. ^ Joseph Henry Archived 9 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Henry: Definition from Answers
  28. ^ The New International Encyclopaedia: Weber
  29. ^ Weber (unit)
  30. ^ Siemens, Werner von
  31. ^ Siemens (unit)
  32. ^ "Biography:James Prescott Joule". Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  33. ^ What is a Joule ?
  34. ^ Henri Becquerel
  35. ^ Tesla's Biography
  36. ^ Tesla (unit)
  37. ^ Heinrich Hertz
  38. ^ Hertz
  39. ^ Rolf Sievert, the man and the unit
  40. ^ About L.G.Gray
  41. ^ Gray
  42. ^ Isaac Asimov: Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Pan Reference Books, London, 1972, ISBN 0-330-24323-3
  43. ^ Elektrik Mühendisliği, TBMMO Yayın organı, 259–260, Ankara, 1978


External linksEdit