# Can one use the Potrzebie unit system in (La)TeX?

Inspired by a comment to this answer (and some wasted but entertaining time on the internet), I was wondering if somebody has implemented the use of the Potrzebie unit system in (La)TeX, as a tribute to Donald Knuth (if he didn't already include it in TeX himself?). Surprisingly, a search here gave zero results.

Knuth introduced it himself in 1957 in the famous science journal MAD:

This new system of measuring, which is destined to become the measuring system of the future, has decided improvements over the other systems now in use. It is based on measurements taken 6-9-12 at the Physics Lab of Milwaukee Lutheran High School. in Milwaukee, Wis. when the thickness of Mad Magazine #26 was determined to be 2.263348517438173216473 mm. This length is the basis for the entire system, and is called one potrzebie of length. The Potrzebie has also been standardized at 3515.3502 wave lengths of the red line in the spectrum of cadmium. A partial table of the Potrzebie System, the measuring system of the future, is given below.

``````1 potrzebie = thickness of MAD #26
.000001 p = 1 farshimmelt potrzebie (fp)
1000 fp = 1 millipotrzebie (mp)
10 mp = 1 centipotrzebie (cp)
10 cp = 1 decipotrzebie (dp)
10 dp = 1 potrzebie (p)
10 p = 1 dekapotrzebie (Dp)
10 Dp = 1 hectopotrzebie (Hp)
10 Hp = 1 kilopotrzebie (Kp)
1000 Kp = 1 furshlugginer potrzebie (Fp)
``````

So, is there an easy way one can use the Potrzebie unit system for lengths in TeX and derivatives?

• Related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/241169/… (disclaimer: it's my post). In principle, the interface in the smartunits package could be extended to cover this, although I can't imagine it would have many users... – Andrew May 10 '17 at 14:16
• @Andrew Right, the number of users would be small. Yet my question was more directed to the use of the unit system for lengths, as there one can use mm, pt, in, cm, em, etc all at the same time, as they're all build into TeX , see en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Lengths I'll probably make an edit to clarify that. – jjdb May 10 '17 at 14:22
• there was a question here the other day on if it is possible to add new units (answer no) you can use (eg) `5 \pz` where \pz is defined by `\newlength\pz \pz=2.263348517438173216473mm` – David Carlisle May 10 '17 at 14:26
• See my answer tex.stackexchange.com/questions/343255/… where I implement 1pz. – Udo Wermuth May 13 '17 at 12:55