Interesting Facts about the Metric System

by Shiwani Pandey September 05, 2022

Learn What Makes the Metric System So Special

Do you know how to say one mile in km? Or do you know how to calculate the distance between you and your friend who lives a bit far away from your house? Well, you can understand where we are going, can’t you? Let us give you an example. 


Say that you are trying to bake a cake and you want to add some sugar to the cake mix. How do you know how much sugar to use? Here is another example. Say you are walking down the road and a car zoomed past you. How can you understand the speed of the car or how fast it was moving? You see, we are surrounded by measurements. Everything from the amount of salt that we put in the food to the length of the cricket field where we play, every single thing can be measured. And it is all thanks to the Metric system of measurement.


In this article, we are going to discuss this very important measurement system that helps us in measuring almost every single thing. This system is called the Metric System and it is here to make our lives infinitely simple and easy. One important thing about the Metric system is that it is widely accepted in almost all of the countries (except Liberia, the USA, and Myanmar) of the world as a valid system of measuring things. So, let us talk a bit about how measurements work and learn some interesting facts about it. 


What is the Metric System? 

Well, the metric system can be defined as a decimal system of measurement that can help you measure different objects on the basis of their length, weight, volume, or height. For instance, can you use the metric system to learn the length of your guitar? You can use the term ‘metre’ which is one of the metric system examples for denoting the length of the guitar. Also, the same system can be used to figure out the distance between Mumbai and Delhi but this time the measurement will be done in kilometres since the distance is too large.


Why is the Metric System So Simple? 

Wouldn’t you agree that counting down different large numbers that are multiples of 10 is much faster and easier than, say , counting down the multiples of numbers like 9 or 7? Well, this is exactly how the metric system tends to work. Every single measurement is based on different multiples of the number 10. All you have to do is simply divide or multiply it by any factor of 10 and you will have the conversion easily. Don’t quite understand what we are saying? Well, here is an example.


Do you know what kilometres are in terms of metres? Well, one kilometre can be defined as 1000 metres. So, that makes the calculation much easier. In the same way, 2 Kilometres will be 2000 metres. You just have to multiply the value of the Kilometre by 1000 in order to find out what it will be in terms of metres. 


Prefixes Help in Fixing Any Confusions 

There are some special prefixes that are used in the metric system to easily identify and measure extra small or large objects. For instance, if you find out that the distance between your house and your friend's house is 100000 centimetres, all you have to do is say that it is 1 Kilometre. 


Here we are providing some details about the common prefixes that are used. 

Kilo 

hecto 

deca

Unit

deci

centi

milli

103

102

101

100

10-1

10-2

10-3


Thus, when it comes to the conversion of a single unit to another, you just have to multiply or divide it by the powers of 10. Now we are going to discuss some units for weight, volume, and length. These values will truly help you understand what a metric unit is. 


Length and Height

The most common units that are used for the measurement of lengths are included below: 

Kilometre (km) 

Hectometre (hm)

Decametre (dam)

Metre (m)

Decimetre (dm)

Centimetre

(cm)

Millimetre (mm)

1000

100

10

1

1/10

1/100

1/1000


Volume/Capacity

When it comes to the volume of the objects or the capacity that they have, these units of measurements are most commonly used. 

Kilolitre (kl) 

Hectolitre (hl)

Decalitre (dal)

Litre (l)

Decilitre (dl)

Centilitre

(cl)

Millilitre (ml)

1000

100

10

1

1/10

1/100

1/1000


Weight

The metric system of weight and measures used the unit options such as: 

Kilogram (kg) 

Hectogram (hg)

Decagram (dag)

Gram (g)

Decigram (dg)

Centigram 

(cg)

Milligram (mg)

1000

100

10

1

1/10

1/100

1/1000


Interesting Facts about the Metric System 

  • The people from France are greatly credited for the creation of the Metric Measurement System. This system was proposed first by French mathematician and astronomer Gabriel Mouton and it was officially adopted in the year 1795 when the French Revolution was going on. 

  • In the year 1799, there were different areas in France that started using this system of measurement. They started using Kilometre examples first and then metres, litres, and Celsius. More units were added with time and it eventually led to the widespread adoption of the metric system. 

  • There were many modifications made to the Metric System. Scientists all over the world managed to revolutionise the entire system in order to make it more convenient for the users. 

  • In the year 1960, the modern Metric system known as the International System of Units or the SI Unit System was introduced. This system had more accurate and precise units of measurement. 


The Seven SI Units for Measurement 

With the introduction of the SI Unit system of measurement, every single measurement was simplified. So, it is important to learn what the SI unit system is all about. There are 7 different basic units that were included in the SI System of Measurement. These units helped in the simplification of measurements. The seven units are represented in the image below along with their SI units and symbols. 


The Seven SI units of Measurement


The Seven SI units of Measurement


Conclusion 

So, what do you think about the metric system? It has surely managed to make measurements a lot simpler than what they used to be. The SI unit system is now accepted worldwide and used for conversions, calculations, and other fields of study.