# How to Convert Meters per Second to Miles per Hour

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• 0:03 Converting Meters Per…
• 1:27 Solution
• 1:51 Finding a Conversion…
• 5:59 Lesson Summary

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Gerald Lemay

Gerald has taught engineering, math and science and has a doctorate in electrical engineering.

Both meters per second and miles per hour are valid units for speed and velocity. In this lesson, you will learn a quick way to convert from one unit to the other. We'll also see how we can make this conversion more accurate.

## Converting Meters per Second to Miles per Hour

To convert a speed in meters per second to a number of miles per hour, we use:

• 1 meter per second = 2.2369 miles per hour, accurate to 5 significant figures

Let's do an example to outline the steps used in the conversion:

The average walking speed of an adult is 1.34 meters per second. What is this speed in miles per hour?

#### Step 1:

Multiply the given value with the conversion factor. We know the conversion factor is 2.2369. Therefore:

• 1.34(2.2369) = 2.997446

#### Step 2:

Determine the number of significant figures:

• The number 1.34 has 3 significant figures
• The number 2.2369 has 5 significant figures

#### Step 3:

Round the answer to the lesser number of significant figures. Since the lesser number of significant figures is 3, we round the answer to 3 significant figures:

• 2.997446 rounds to 3.00 when we keep 3 significant figures

Thus, 1.34 meters per second converts to 3.00 miles per hour.

## Solution

Another way to say how to convert x meters per second to miles per hour is to multiply x by 2.2369 and then round to the number of significant figures in x. This solution will work for most of the cases you encounter. Of course, if x has more than 5 significant figures, we will need a more accurate conversion factor.

## Finding a Conversion Factor with More Significant Figures

The conversion factor, 2.2369, has 5 significant figures and works very well when the speed to be converted is a number of meters per second with 5 or less significant figures. We will now show where the number, 2.2369, comes from and how to extend it to have more significant figures.

Speed is a measure of distance and time. We can develop our ability to do unit conversions, by looking at time and distance separately.

First, time. There are 3600 seconds in 1 hour:

Second, distance. The following conversion factors are completely accurate:

• 5280.00 feet = 1.00 mile
• 12.00â€¦ inches = 1.00 foot
• 2.5400â€¦ cm = 1.00 inch
• 100.00â€¦ cm = 1.00 m
• 1000.00â€¦ m = 1.00 km

Combining these conversion factors so the units cancel:

Everything except miles over hours cancels out:

The result is 2.236936292054402â€¦ and is only limited in accuracy by the word size of the computer or calculator. The idea is to round this conversion factor to a number of significant digits which is at least one more than the accuracy of the number to convert.

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