C2: Commission Information

C2: Commission Information

The “Red Book” and recommended sources of information


Preface to the 2010 reprint:

The 1987 revision of the SUNAMCO ‘Red Book’ has for nearly a quarter of a century provided physicists with authoritative guidance on the use of symbols, units and nomenclature. As such, it is cited as a primary reference by the IUPAC ‘Green Book’ (Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry, 3rd edition, E. R. Cohen et al., RSC Publishing, Cambridge, 2007) and the SI Brochure (The International System of Units (SI), 8th edition, BIPM, S`evres, 2006). This electronic version has been prepared from the original TeX files and reproduces the content of the printed version, although there are some minor differences in formatting and layout. In issuing this version, we recognise that there are areas of physics which have come to prominence over the last two decades which are not covered and also that some material has been superseded. In particular, the values of the fundamental constants presented in section 6 have been superseded by more recent recommended values from the CODATA Task Group on Fundamental Constants. The currently recommended values can be obtained from the NIST Database. SUNAMCO has established a Committee for Revision of the Red Book. Suggestions for material to be included in a revised version can be directed to the SUNAMCO Secretary, Stephen Lea.

Copies of the 1987 printed version are available on application to:

IUPAP Secretariat
c/o Institute of Physics
76 Portland Place
London W1B 1NT
Email:  IUPAP Administrator

Peter J. Mohr, Chair (2008-2011), IUPAP Commission C2

Stephen N. Lea, Secretary (2008-2011), IUPAP Commission C2

Introduction to the 1987 revision:

The recommendations in this document, compiled by the Commission for Symbols, Units, Nomenclature, Atomic Masses and Fundamental Constants (SUNAMCO Commission) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), have been approved by the successive General Assemblies of the IUPAP held from 1948 to 1984. These recommendations are in general agreement with recommendations of the following international organizations:

(1) International Organization for Standardization, Technical Committee ISO/TC12

(2) General Conference on Weights and Measures (1948–1983)

(3) International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)

(4) International Electrotechnical Commission, Technical Committee IEC/TC25

(5) International Commission on Illumination.

This document replaces the previous recommendations of the SUN Commission published under the title Symbols, Units and Nomenclature in Physics in 1961 (UIP-9, [SUN 61-44]), 1965 (UIP-11, [SUN 65-3]) and 1978 (UIP-20, [SUN 78-5], Physica 93A (1978) 1–63).

Robert C. Barber, Chair (1984-1987), IUPAP Commission 2

Organisations in liaison with SUNAMCO

Article 6 of the Commission’s Mandate states that part of SUNAMCO’s function is:

To maintain liaison with other IUPAP Commissions, with the Commissions or Committees of other Unions or of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) or other scientific organizations, with a view to collaborating and cooperating in sponsoring joint conferences and to participating in joint projects when need arises.

In particular to maintain close liaison with the other IUPAP Commissions (C13: Physics for Development and C14: Physics Education), so as to ensure suitable input from its field into these physics-wide activities.

Inter-Union Commissions in liaison with SUNAMCO:

Inter-Union Group SUNAMO Contact (2008-2011)
I.U.2 Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) Peter Mohr
I.U.4 Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology (BIPM – JCGM)
I.U.13 IUPAC Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic weights (CIAAW)
I.U.14 IUPAC Interdivisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature and Symbols (ICTNS) Stephen Lea
I.U.15 Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) Andrew Wallard
I.U.16 International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC/TC25)
I.U.19 IUPAC/IUPAP Joint Working Party on Claims for the Discovery of New Elements (JWP)