# “The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

# “The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….

# How Many Seconds are in a Year?

To figure out how many seconds there are in a year, we’re going to need to know a little math. To convert a certain quantity to a different unit of measure, we need to figure out what is called the conversion factor.

To do this, we need to come up with a ratio — or fraction — that equals one. In the ratio, the conversion factor is a multiplier that gets applied to the larger unit to convert it into the smaller unit through multiplication.

Sound confusing? Don’t worry. A simple example will make things clear. When thinking about how many seconds there are in a year, let’s first figure out the different units of measurement of time involved. We have the second, the minute, the hour, the day, the month, and the year.

Let’s start with the largest of these measures: the year. To convert years to the next smallest unit — the month — we have to know how many months are in a year. Since we know there are 12 months in a year, our ratio would be 1:12 (one year:12 month) or 1/12. So, the conversion factor is 12.

If we want to know how many months are in 5 years, we just need to multiply the number of years by the conversion factor. Five years times 12 months/year equals 60 months in 5 years. Easy enough, right?

To figure out even smaller units, you can keep doing multiple conversions to smaller and smaller units. Just make sure that the units you’re using are all the same. For example, there are 24 hours in each day, but not all months have the same number of days. To convert one year to seconds, you’ll need to skip using months and convert to days, hours, minutes, and finally seconds.

Each step of the way, you’ll need to compute the conversion factor and then multiply. Here’s what the conversion from one year to seconds would look like:

1 year = 365 days (no, we’re not counting leap years!)

1 day = 24 hours

1 hour = 60 minutes

1 minute = 60 seconds

So one year would equal 365 times 24 times 60 times 60 seconds…or 31,536,000 seconds! That’s over 31 million seconds you have to spend over the next year. What will you do with YOUR seconds? 