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Browse Elementary Terms & Units of Measurement
Stars indicate particularly interesting answers or good places to begin browsing.

Selected answers to common questions:
    Equivalent measurements: tsp, oz, pt, lb.
    Measuring with Two Containers.
    Metric Measurements.
    Meters Squared or Square Meters?
    Unit conversions, unit cancellation.



Linear Foot [7/1/1996]
How much is a linear foot?

Liquid Quart vs. Solid Quart [04/27/2001]
Why does a liquid quart consist of 57.75 cubic inches, whereas a solid quart consists of 67.2 cubic inches?

Measuring by Degrees [06/16/2002]
Why is it that angles and temperature are both measured in degrees?

Meters, Centimeters [03/12/2001]
How many times as long as 2 centimeters is a meter stick?

Metric and Standard Rulers [04/20/2001]
In the United States we only use a customary (standard) ruler, and in other parts of the world they use the metric side. Why do we just use the standard side?

Metric Conversion [10/23/1996]
How many meters is 67 centimeters equal to?

Metric Cup [05/15/2000]
How many milliliters are there in a metric cup?

Metric Prefixes [9/15/1996]
What are the metric prefixes for 10e4, 10e5, 10e7, 10e8 and the corresponding neg. values?

Metric System Conversions [09/24/1998]
I need help with double conversions - for example, how many centimeters are there in 14.25 decameters?

Metric vs. Standard System [08/19/2001]
Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of the metric system and the standard system using weights and measures.

Miles Squared vs. Square Miles [07/09/1999]
What is the difference between 10 square miles and 10 miles square?

Nautical Mph/Knots [08/12/2003]
I want to know how fast the wind is blowing when the weather report states 5 knots.

Non-Metric Countries [04/23/2001]
What countries other than the U.S. are not using the metric system, and why?

A Peck of Peppers [02/27/2002]
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick? How much is a peck?

Pennies in a Mile [04/23/1999]
How many pennies are there in a mile?

The Pound Sign [04/06/2001]
Can the # symbol be used to represent the weight unit 'pounds'?

Proper Abbreviation of Measurement Units [03/04/2004]
Is a period used after the abbreviations for the customary units of measurement? In the past, I understood that all abbreviations used a period. Now, I typically see inch as in., but ofter see foot (ft), yard (yd), and others with no period.

Quarts in a Gallon [03/20/2001]
Is there a way not to have to memorize a whole chart of unit conversions?

Rules for Significant Figures and Decimal Places [03/23/1999]
Accurate measurement: What are significant digits? When do we use them? Why?

Square Centimeters and Centimeters Squared [07/09/2004]
If it's pronounced '1 square centimeter' why is it abbreviated 1 cm^2? Why don't they just say 1^s cm? The ^s would stand for square and it would be much easier to understand.

Teaching the Metric System [08/18/2000]
How can I teach my second grader about the metric system? I have no idea how to read a metric ruler or how to convert inches into the metric system or vice versa.

Unit Conversions [4/3/1996]
How many feet are contained in an acre?

Units and Square Units in Measuring Perimeter and Area [01/02/2005]
Why is perimeter measured in units and area measured in square units?

Why Is a Circle 360 Degrees? [07/01/1998]
Why is a circle defined as 360 degrees?

Why Is 'Pound' Abbreviated 'lb'? [03/08/2004]
Why is "pound" abbreviated lb? Is it because of its Latin roots? I know libra means pound. What is the history of it?

Word for a 225th Birthday [07/10/2001]
This year America is celebrating its 225th birthday. As we celebrated the bicentennial in 1976, is there a term for 225 years?

Writing 'Square Foot' [05/05/2001]
Is there a symbol for "square foot"?

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