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Units of Measure

Phil B. Fontanarosa

and Stacy Christiansen

The calorie is the unit of measure often used in chemistry and biochemistry for reporting heat energy. A value of 1 calorie is the amount of energy (heat) required to raise the temperature of 1 g of pure water by 1°C. The joule is the preferred SI unit for energy, and calories and kilocalories may be converted to joules (J) and kilojoules (kJ) by using the following formulas: 1 calorie = 4.186 J 1 kilocalorie = 4.186 kJ JAMA and the Archives Journals prefer to report heat energy in calories or kilocalories. Formerly a distinction was made between this “small

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