IUPAP Commission C2 - SUNAMCO
Introduction to the SUNAMCO Red Book

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which have come to prominence over the last two decades which are not covered and also that some material has been superseded. In particular, the values of the fundamental constants presented in section 6 have been superseded by more recent recommended values from the CODATA Task Group on Fundamental Constants.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 the IUPAP Secretariat, c/o Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT, United Kingdom, e-mail: admin.iupap@iop.org.

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