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Converting Grams to Cubic Centimeters

Date: 03/27/2002 at 01:28:20
From: Denise
Subject: Conversions

How do you convert grams to cubic centimeters, I don't know where to 

Date: 03/27/2002 at 09:16:19
From: Doctor Rick
Subject: Re: Conversions

Hi, Denise.

You can't convert grams to cubic centimeters. Conversions go between 
different units of the SAME MEASUREMENT. For instance, you can convert 
grams to kilograms or to pounds, because these are all units of mass 
(or "weight"). You can convert cubic centimeters to milliliters or to 
gallons, because these are all units of volume or capacity. (In fact, 
a cubic centimeter is the SAME UNIT as a milliliter.)

If you know the mass of something in grams and you need to find its 
volume, you need additional information: the DENSITY of the material 
whose mass you know. Density is mass per unit volume, measured in (for 
instance) grams per cubic centimeter, so it resembles a conversion. 
It's different, though, because the density is different for different 

The metric system was defined such that a cubic centimeter of WATER 
(under certain specific conditions of temperature and pressure) has a 
mass of 1 gram. Many familiar materials (milk, or people, for 
instance) are composed largely of water, so their density is very 
close to that of water. Thus for many purposes, at least if high 
accuracy is not needed, you can assume that 1 gram of such a substance 
has a volume of 1 cubic centimeter (or 1 milliliter). Just beware: 
this will not work with something like iron, and it's not very close 
for gasoline.

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

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