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Cubic Centimeters and Milliliters

Date: 10/29/2001 at 08:15:20
From: Kara Chiasson
Subject: Cubic centimeters and Milliliters


I know that cubic centimeters and milliliters are the same thing, but 
is there any way  you can prove it to me? 


Date: 10/29/2001 at 10:06:41
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: Cubic centimeters and Milliliters

Hi, Kara.

It's mostly a matter of definition. See this useful site (listed in 
our FAQ):

    How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement - Russ Rowlett   

which says, under "liter":

    liter or litre (L or l): the common metric unit of volume. The
    liter was originally defined to be the volume occupied by a
    kilogram of water, and the gram as the mass of a cubic centimeter
    of water. This would make the liter equal to exactly one cubic
    decimeter, that is, to the volume of a cube 0.1 meter (or 10
    centimeters) on a side. Unfortunately, the physical objects
    constructed to represent the meter and kilogram disagreed
    slightly. As measured by the standard meter and standard
    kilogram, the standard liter turned out to be about 1.000 028
    cubic decimeters. This discrepancy plagued the metric system for
    a long time. In 1901 an international congress accepted the
    discrepancy and formally defined the liter to be exactly
    1.000 028 dm3. No one was particularly happy with such an
    awkward definition, so in 1964 the CGPM repealed the definition.
    In the SI, volumes are to be measured in cubic meters or
    power-of-ten multiples thereof, not in liters. However, the SI
    states that the liter "may be employed as a special name for the
    cubic decimeter." Throughout this dictionary, the liter is used
    as a name for exactly 1 cubic decimeter, 1000 cubic centimeters,
    or 0.001 cubic meter.

So if a liter is defined as 1000 cubic centimeters, then a milliliter 
is one cubic centimeter. End of proof!

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum   
Associated Topics:
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Terms/Units of Measurement

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