.. _angular_frequency:
Angles and Angular Frequency
=================
Angles
------
pint treats angle quantities as `dimensionless`, following the conventions of SI. The base unit for angle is the `radian`.
The SI BIPM Brochure (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) states:
.. note::
Plane and solid angles, when expressed in radians and steradians respectively, are in effect
also treated within the SI as quantities with the unit one (see section 5.4.8). The symbols rad
and sr are written explicitly where appropriate, in order to emphasize that, for radians or
steradians, the quantity being considered is, or involves the plane angle or solid angle
respectively. For steradians it emphasizes the distinction between units of flux and intensity
in radiometry and photometry for example. However, it is a long-established practice in
mathematics and across all areas of science to make use of rad = 1 and sr = 1.
This leads to behavior some users may find unintuitive. For example, since angles have no dimensionality, it is not possible to check whether a quantity has an angle dimension.
.. code-block:: python
>>> import pint
>>> ureg = pint.UnitRegistry()
>>> angle = ureg('1 rad')
>>> angle.dimensionality
Angular Frequency
-----------------
`Hertz` is a unit for frequency, that is often also used for angular frequency. For example, a shaft spinning at `60 revolutions per minute` will often be said to spin at `1 Hz`, rather than `1 revolution per second`.
Since pint treats angle quantities as `dimensionless`, it allows conversions between frequencies and angular frequencies. This leads to some unintuitive behaviour, as pint will convert angular frequencies into frequencies by converting angles into `radians`, rather than `revolutions`. This leads to converted values `2 * pi` larger than expected:
.. code-block:: python
>> from pint import UnitRegistry
>>> ureg = UnitRegistry()
>>> angular_frequency = ureg('60rpm')
>>> angular_frequency.to('Hz')
The SI BIPM Brochure (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) states:
.. note::
The SI unit of frequency is hertz, the SI unit of angular velocity and angular frequency is
radian per second, and the SI unit of activity is becquerel, implying counts per second.
Although it is formally correct to write all three of these units as the reciprocal second, the
use of the different names emphasizes the different nature of the quantities concerned. It is
especially important to carefully distinguish frequencies from angular frequencies, because
by definition their numerical values differ by a factor of 2π. Ignoring this fact may cause
an error of 2π. Note that in some countries, frequency values are conventionally expressed
using “cycle/s” or “cps” instead of the SI unit Hz, although “cycle” and “cps” are not units
in the SI. Note also that it is common, although not recommended, to use the term
frequency for quantities expressed in rad/s. Because of this, it is recommended that
quantities called “frequency”, “angular frequency”, and “angular velocity” always be given
explicit units of Hz or rad/s and not s−1