Table of Contents

## What is the Metric System?

The metric system is a system of measurement that is based on the decimal system. It is made up of base units and derived units. Base units are units that cannot be divided into smaller units, and derived units are units that are created by combining base units.

## What is the SI Unit of Metric Length?

The SI unit of metric length is the meter.

## Other Non-SI Metric Length Units

There are a few other non-SI metric length units that are used occasionally. The kilometer (km) is a unit of length that is equal to 1,000 meters. The hectometer (hm) is a unit of length that is equal to 100 meters. The decameter (dam) is a unit of length that is equal to 10 meters. The meter (m) is the most common unit of length that is used in the metric system.

## Measure of Metric Lengths

The metric system is a decimal system of measurement that uses base 10. The metric system measures length in meters, mass in kilograms, and time in seconds. Other units of measure in the metric system include the liter for volume and the Celsius degree for temperature.

## Converting Larger Units to Smaller Units

To convert a larger unit to a smaller unit, divide the larger unit by the smaller unit.

For example, to convert gallons to quarts, divide the number of gallons by the number of quarts.

## Unit Conversion

Units of measurement are a necessary part of science, engineering, and everyday life. The metric system is a decimal system of measurement that is based on the meter, kilogram, and second. The metric system is used in most countries in the world.

In the metric system, there are prefixes that are used to denote the size of a unit. For example, the prefix “milli” means one thousandth. Therefore, a millimeter is one thousandth of a meter.

The table below lists some common metric prefixes and their corresponding values.

Prefix Value Symbol

milli : 1/1,000

micro : 1/1,000,000

nano : 1/1,000,000,000

The table below lists some common U.S. customary units and their corresponding metric equivalents.

Prefix | Analog value |
Digital value |

p (pico) | 10^{-12} |
– |

n (nano) | 10^{-9} |
– |

µ (micro) | 10^{-6} |
– |

m (milli) | 10^{-3} |
– |

k (kilo) | 10^{3}(1000) |
2^{10}(1024) |

M (mega) | 10^{6}(1,000,000) |
2^{20}(1,048,576) |

G (Giga) | 10^{9}(1,000,000,000) |
2^{30}(1,073,741,824) |

T (Tera) | 10^{12}(1,000,000,000,000) |
2^{40}(1,099,511,627,776) |