Unit Conversions and the Metric System

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The metric system is decimal based system. This system uses base units (metre, litre, gram) and a standard set of prefixes that increases or decreases the base unit by a power of 10. For example the prefix kilo is 1000 times larger than the base unit. So a kilogram is 1000 times bigger than the base unit gram or in other words there are 1000 grams in one kilogram.

Converting in the Metric System

Metric conversions

Remember these steps when you are converting

  1. Write down the given
  2. Multiply the given by a conversion factor.
  3. Write your answer with the new unit.

Conversion

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Converting Temperature

Thermometers generally use Celsius so we need to have a way to convert to Kelvin

Thermometers generally use Celsius so we need to have a way to convert to Kelvin

 

The S.I. unit for temperature is the Kelvin. It is not very common for thermometers to use the Kelvin. Rather, thermometers use Celsius and so we must be able to convert between Celsius and Kelvin.

Temperature in Kelvin = Temperature in Celsius + 273

Temperature in Celsius = Temperature in Kelvin – 273

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