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Christine Kositz
Journal Entry #1: The Metric System
Dozens of different units such as feet, inches, miles, leagues, rods, and more were used to
measure distances. The lack of a single uniform system of measurement led to confusion and
inefficiencies in trade between countries. In 1790, the French National Assembly called upon the
Academy of Science to design a standard decimal based system of units (The Metric System,
http://www.visionlearning.com/library/module_viewer.php?mid=47
, 2 March). The metric
system is now used in all scientific measurement.
The metric system is organized very well. Volume is based off of liters, mass is based off
of grams, and distance is based off of meters. Certain prefixes correspond to certain powers of
10. For example, to measure mass, 1 kilogram is 10
3
grams. In the same respect, to measure
distance, 1 nanometer is 10
9
meters.
The metric system has some very positive attributes. Firstly, it is easy to use. As long as
you know which prefixes correspond to the conversion rate, it is very easy to do conversions.
Second, the metric system’s conversions lead to exact answers. Instead using constants which
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course CHEM 111 taught by Professor Sherer during the Spring '08 term at Anne Arundel CC.
 Spring '08
 Sherer

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