
Chapter 8—Measurements 82 The Metric System The metric system, like most money systems, are based on multiples of 10. Each unit is either 10 times greater than the nextsmaller amount, or it is 1/10th the size of the nextlarger amount. And since the metric system is based on 10s, it works quite naturally with powersoften notation — especially scientific notation. Measurement of Length, or Distance The basic metric unit of length is the meter. The nextsmaller unit is the centimeter: 1/10th of a meter. The nextlarger unit is the decimeter: 10 meters.
This table shows the range of metric distances, or lengths, you are most likely to encounter in the real world.
Metric Measures of Mass and Weight The basic metric unit for mass (or weight) is the gram (g). The most common unit that is smaller than a gram is the milligram (1/1000^{th} of a gram). The most common larger unit of mass is the kilogram (1000 grams).
This table shows the range of metric distances, or lengths, you are most likely to encounter in the real world.
Metric Measures of Capacity The basic unit of metric capacity is the liter (pronounced as LEEter). Smaller units are the milliliter (1/1000 of a liter) and the microliter (1millionth of a liter). A kiloliter is a thousand liters, but we seldom find that unit used anywhere. An Olympic swimming pool, for example, holds about 2,274,000 liters of water. We could rewrite that as 2.274 megaliters, but that expression isn't used. The most common representation is 2.274 x 10^{6} liters.
This table shows the range of metric capacities you are most likely to encounter in the real world.


David L. Heiserman, Editor  Copyright © SweetHaven
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Revised: May 18, 2013