Fr.: quantité sans dimension
A quantity without an associated → physical dimension. Dimensionless quantities are defined as the ratio of two quantities with the same dimension. The magnitude of such quantities is independent of the system of units used. A dimensionless quantity is not always a ratio; for instance, the number of people in a room is a dimensionless quantity. Examples include the → Alfven Mach number, → Ekman number, → Froude number, → Mach number, → Prandtl number, → Rayleigh number, → Reynolds number, → Richardson number, → Rossby number, → Toomre parameter. See also → large number.
→ dimension + -less M.E. from O.E. læs (adv.), læssa (adj.), akin to O.Fr. les "less."