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What sense does it make to say a solid block of steel has a big capacity of 20 liters? I do not now what any standards body has said on this yet, but it seems capacity should be for containers - the container itself occupying much LESS volume of space --JimWae 20:20, 2004 Dec 14 (UTC)

If it is a solid block, it has a capacity of zero. Make it a sheet enclosing something, as the passenger compartment in an automobile, or its trunk, and you can measure that capacity in volume units such as liters or cubic feet. The total space that would enclose both the container and its contents (the overall volume) is irrelevant to capacity. Gene Nygaard 21:32, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

So we are agreeing - but since the volume of a container can be taken to mean its capacity OR its water displacement, it would be clearer NOT to use volume & capacity as synonyms, but reserve capacity for how much containers can hold, and volume for displacement. --JimWae 21:40, 2004 Dec 14 (UTC)

Hey, do you prefer "useful volume" or "effective volume" when you mean the above "capacity"? Non-native speaker asking. Marine33sohu (talk) 01:42, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I mean "how much a container can hold" - and it is not clear to me that your 2 alternatives are different --JimWae (talk) 01:57, 18 August 2011 (UTC)


The symbol for the stere, the unit of volume for firewood, shall be “st” and not “s”, which had been previously assigned to it by the CIPM. (page 50 of SI brochure)--JimWae 20:28, 2004 Dec 14 (UTC)

The change occurred in 1948 (ninth CGPM). Urhixidur 13:56, 2005 May 26 (UTC)

Ambiguity in defining volume function[edit]

In mathematics, there is presently some ambiguity in defining the volume function. I'm not qualified to write about this, but I am qualified to ask about it, so I'll ask anyone with a background in absolute geometry to lend a hand. (This ambiguity has significant impact on set theory.)

What is the difference between m3/h and nm3/h?[edit]

We find air volume and liquid volume explained in m3/h and nm3/h. What is the difference between them?

Context would help in answering your question. The units of flow (not volume) cubic metre per hour (m³/h) and cubic nanometre per hour (nm³/h) differ by a whopping factor of 1027. If the second unit is actually cubic nautical miles per hour (NM³/h), the difference is a factor of 6×109 (6,352,182,208). Urhixidur 13:45, 2005 May 26 (UTC)

Nm3 is Normal meter cube : measured at 0 degree centigrade temperature and 1 atmosphere pressure. Since gas volume depends on both, you need to define the base for volume measurement, hence the N in nm3

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