Hours to Seconds Calculator

Instructions: Use this calculator to convert hours to seconds, showing all the steps. For example, if you want to convert 1.5 hours into seconds, please type in "1.5" in the form below:

Type the number of hours you want to convert (Ex: 5.34, or .4562, etc)

More about this Hours to Seconds Calculator

Time is something that we all understand, but sometimes we have difficulties to define. The best way we have to understanding time is keeping track of time by using time units.

For example, hours, minutes and seconds are different types of time units. They all represent a certain amount of time, only at different scales.

Why we have different time units? Because for different types of events, depending on how short or long, some time units are more practical than others for measuring them.

How many seconds means 1 hour?

In order to answer this question, we need remember how the Babylonians decided to measure time. They decided to fraction time using the number 60 as the basis, which is known as the sexagesimal system.

This way, 60 seconds form 1 minute, and 60 minutes form 1 hour. Now, it is curious why a day is not 60 hours, right? Well, not everything was consistent.

Yet, that is how Babylonians conceived seconds, minutes and hours, and they did something similar by dividing a full circle into 360 small units, which now we know as 1o.

So then 1 hour is 60 minutes, and each of those 60 minutes is a second, so there are 60*60 = 3,600 seconds in 1 hour.

Similarly, if you want to convert 2 hours to seconds, you know that each hour has 3,600 seconds, so two hours is 2*3,600 = 7,200 seconds, 3 hours are 3*3,600 = 10,800 seconds, etc. You get the idea.

What is the formula for hours to seconds?

Based on the above calculation that there are 3,600 seconds in an hour, using direct proportions we find that there are "3,600*H" seconds in "H" hours.

We can follow these steps when we want to convert H hours into seconds.

Step 1: Identify clearly the number of hours H you want to convert

Step 2: This is how you change H into S. You use the following formula:

\[ S = 3,600 H\]

Step 3: Observe that the above formula is not dealing with units. Make sure that H is measured in hours, and the formula will be resulting in seconds

Step 4: Strictly speaking, H should come with units, and the constant is not dimensionless, it is actually 3,600 seconds/hour

How do I convert hours to seconds in Excel?

Excel is a neat tool to get conversions like this. Depending on how you have set your information out, let's say that you have the number of hours you want to convert in cell "A1".

Now, in cell "A2" we want to store the conversion of the content of "A1" into seconds, so then, in "A2" we simply type "=A1*3600", and it will yield the desired conversion.

Hours to seconds

Advantages and disadvantages of using hours versus seconds?

  • Hours and seconds are just different units to measure time
  • Using hours or minutes or seconds will be called by the circumstances. For example, if you are measuring events that are short, using hours will be impractical
  • For example, the amount of time a pencil takes to fall to the ground could be less than one second, and it would be impractical to say it takes 0.000277778 hours.
  • Or if we are measuring the amount of time a comet takes for a full orbit, seconds likely won't be a practical measure. Not even hours, we may try years

Summary: How to go from hours to minutes to seconds

Always remember "Babylonians". So you will recall they used "60" as the base of their numeric systems. That makes it easy to remember, 60 minutes in an hour and also 60 second in a minute.

Then, if you don't recall the exact formula, you can always use direct proportion to deduce it.

Example: Conversion of Hours to Seconds

Question: Calculate how many seconds are there in 3.456 hours.


We know that there are 3600 seconds in one hour, so by direct proportionality there are \(S = 3600 H \) seconds in H hours.

Hence, we get the following

\[ S = 3600 \times 3.456 = 312441.6 \text {seconds}\]

Example 2

Question How many hours are there in 4560 seconds?


By direct proportionality we know that there are \(S = 3600 H \) seconds in H hours. So then, we can solve for H to get

\[ H = \frac{S}{3600} \text {hours}\]

Therefore, since in this case S = 4560 seconds, we get

\[ H = \frac{4560}{3600} = 1.26667 \text {hours}\]

Calculators relating hours, minutes, and seconds?

When dealing with time, always remember Babylonians and the sexagesimal (60) system. With that knowledge, you can always us proportionality to find any time conversions you need.

Of course, it always comes in handy just to type in a number a punch a bottom to get complete results. So for the reverse process, you can use this seconds to hours calculator, although you can see above example 2 that shows how to conduct such conversion.

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