## OverviewoftheMetricSystem

*Posted on November 27, 2006, in Uncategorized, with 0 Comments*

The following is a brief description of the metric system along with its goals and short history.

- The metric system is a decimalized system of measurement based on the meter and the gram.
- It exists in several variations, with different choices of base units, though these do not affect its day-to-day use.
- Over the last two centuries, different variants have been considered the metric system.
- Since the 1960s the International System of Units (SI) ("Système International d'Unités" in French, hence "SI") is the internationally recognized standard metric system.
- Metric units of mass, length, and electricity are widely used around the world for both everyday and scientific purposes. Time (generally) is not.
- One goal of the metric system is to have a single unit for any physical quantity.
- All lengths and distances, for example, are measured in meters, or thousandths of a metre (millimetres), or thousands of meters (kilometres), and so on.
- There is no profusion of different units with different conversion factors, such as inches, feet, yards, fathoms, rods, chains, furlongs, miles, nautical miles, leagues, etc.
- Multiples and submultiples are related to the fundamental unit by factors of powers of ten, so that one can convert by simply moving the decimal place: 1.234 meters is 1234 millimeters, 0.001234 kilometers, etc.
- The use of fractions, such as 2/5 of a meter, is not prohibited, but uncommon.
- The original metric system was intended to be used with the units of time of the French Republican Calendar, but these fell into disuse along with the calendar.
- The metric system was first introduced in late 18th century France by the chemist Lavoisier to replace the disparate systems of measures then in use with a unified, natural and universal system.
- In the early metric system there were several fundamental or base units, the grad or grade for angles, the meter for length, the gram for mass and the liter for capacity.