announcement

Share facts or photos of intriguing scientific phenomena.

Metric Measurements: Units and Conversions

Metric Measurements: Units and Conversions

Read this article to know more about the history of the metric system, and also to gain knowledge about the various types of metric measurements, along with their units and conversions.
Madhavi Ghare
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
The metric system was devised by a French chemist called Lavoisier in the 18th century. This was done so that several systems of measurement, which were in use at that time found a unified and a universal platform. The primary motive behind this was to facilitate easier trade amongst various countries or regions, which used differing systems of measurement. The basis of this system was derived from nature itself. Water, for example, was used as one basis. 1 liter of water weighed 1 kg and measured 1 cubic decimeter. Water froze at zero degree Celsius, and boiled at hundred degree Celsius.
The metric measurements are related to each other by the powers of 10. The commonly used prefixes for the various units under the metric system are 'Hecto' for hundred, 'Kilo' for thousand, 'Deca' for ten, 'Deci' for the tenth, 'Centi' for the hundredth, and 'Milli' for the thousandth.
This system (called 'Le Systeme International d'Unites' or 'SI', for short) was officially recognized and adopted in October 1960 by almost all the countries in the world.
Provided below are a few metric units and conversions for your easy reference:
Metric Measurement System
Length

10 millimeters = 1 centimeter
10 centimeters = 1 decimeter
10 decimeter = 1 meterĀ 
10 meters = 1 decameter
10 decameters = 1 hectometer
10 hectometers = 1 kilometer

1000 millimeters = 1 meter
100 centimeters = 1 meter
1000 meters = 1 kilometer
Mass

1000 grams = 1 kilogram
1000 kilograms = 1 ton
Capacity

10 milliliters = 1 centiliter
10 centiliters = 1 deciliter
10 deciliters = 1 liter

1000 milliliters = 1 liter
Area

100 square millimeters = 1 square centimeter
100 square meters = 1 acre
100 acres = 1 hectare
100 hectares = 1 square kilometer

10000 square centimeters = 1 square meter
10000 square meters = 1 hectare
1000000 square meters = 1 square kilometer
Imperial Measurements System

Length

12 inches = 1 foot
3 feet = 1 yard
22 yards = 1 chain
10 chains = 1 furlong
8 furlongs = 1 mile

5280 feet = 1 mile
1760 yards = 1 mile
Mass

437.5 grains = 1 ounce
16 ounces = 1 pound
14 pounds = 1 stone
8 stones = 1 hundredweight
20 hundredweights = 1 ton
Capacity

20 fluid ounces = 1 pint
4 gills = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon

8 pints = 1 gallon
Area

144 square inches = 1 square foot
9 square feet = 1 square yard
4840 square yards = 1 acre
640 acres = 1 square mile
Conversion Formulae
Length

1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
1 foot = 0.3048 meters
1 mile = 1.6093 kilometers

1 centimeter = 0.3937 inch
1 meter = 3.2808 feet
1 kilometer = 0.62137 mile
Mass

1 ounce = 28.3495 grams
1 pound = 0.4536 kilograms

1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
1 gram = 0.0353 ounce
Capacity

1 gallon = 3.7853 liters

1 liter = 1.0567 quarts
Area

1 square foot = 929.0304 square centimeters

1 square meter = 1550.003 square inches
An easy formula for temperature conversion is as follows:

From Fahrenheit to Celsius:
Deduct 32 from the Fahrenheit temperature, multiply the result by 5m and then divide that result by 9 to get the Celsius temperature.

From Celsius to Fahrenheit:
Multiply the Celsius temperature by 9, divide the result by 5, and then add 32 to that result to get the Fahrenheit temperature.