Different Unit Systems (and default units)ΒΆ

Pint Unit Registry has the concept of system, which is a group of units

>>> import pint
>>> ureg = pint.UnitRegistry(system='mks')
>>> ureg.default_system

This has an effect in the base units. For example:

>>> q = 3600. * ureg.meter / ureg.hour
>>> q.to_base_units()
<Quantity(1.0, 'meter / second')>

But if you change to cgs:

>>> ureg.default_system = 'cgs'
>>> q.to_base_units()
<Quantity(100.0, 'centimeter / second')>

or more drastically to:

>>> ureg.default_system = 'imperial'
>>> '{:.3f}'.format(q.to_base_units())
'1.094 yard / second'


In versions previous to 0.7 to_base_units returns quantities in the units of the definition files (which are called root units). For the definition file bundled with pint this is meter/gram/second. To get back this behaviour use to_root_units, set ureg.system = None

You can also use system to narrow down the list of compatible units:

>>> ureg.default_system = 'mks'
>>> ureg.get_compatible_units('meter')
frozenset({<Unit('light_year')>, <Unit('angstrom')>})

or for imperial units:

>>> ureg.default_system = 'imperial'
>>> ureg.get_compatible_units('meter')
frozenset({<Unit('thou')>, <Unit('league')>, <Unit('nautical_mile')>, <Unit('inch')>, <Unit('mile')>, <Unit('yard')>, <Unit('foot')>})

You can check which unit systems are available:

>>> dir(ureg.sys)
['US', 'cgs', 'imperial', 'mks']

Or which units are available within a particular system:

>>> dir(ureg.sys.imperial)
['UK_hundredweight', 'UK_ton', 'acre_foot', 'cubic_foot', 'cubic_inch', 'cubic_yard', 'drachm', 'foot', 'grain', 'imperial_barrel', 'imperial_bushel', 'imperial_cup', 'imperial_fluid_drachm', 'imperial_fluid_ounce', 'imperial_gallon', 'imperial_gill', 'imperial_peck', 'imperial_pint', 'imperial_quart', 'inch', 'long_hunderweight', 'long_ton', 'mile', 'ounce', 'pound', 'quarter', 'short_hunderdweight', 'short_ton', 'square_foot', 'square_inch', 'square_mile', 'square_yard', 'stone', 'yard']

Notice that this give you the opportunity to choose within units with colliding names:

>>> (1 * ureg.sys.imperial.pint).to('liter')
<Quantity(0.5682612500000002, 'liter')>
>>> (1 * ureg.sys.US.pint).to('liter')
<Quantity(0.47317647300000004, 'liter')>
>>> (1 * ureg.sys.US.pint).to(ureg.sys.imperial.pint)
<Quantity(0.8326741846289889, 'imperial_pint')>