Comparing Metric Measurements
Date: 09/22/2005 at 19:38:58 From: Chanel Subject: I don't know which is heavier like 900g or 1kg How do I decide which is heavier, 900g or 1 kg? I'm in 6th grade and I just came to a new school and my old school didn't explain this so I was wondering if you could help me figure out this problem?
Date: 09/22/2005 at 21:23:41 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: I don't know which is heavier like 900g or 1kg Hi, Chanel. If you haven't been taught the metric system, and your teacher is about to use it, it might be a good idea to ask your teacher for a quick introduction to it. If you'd rather do it yourself, and can't find a good book that covers it in your library, try this site: Metric Measurements http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/sets/select/dm_metric.html and the links there. I haven't found a really good site that explains the system from scratch, without going too deep for you. Here is a good summary, as long as you know you aren't expected to know much of it: The International System of Units http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/brownridge.html I'll summarize the main ideas. At an elementary level, there really isn't much to learn, just a lot of practice to get good at it. In our common American system of measurements, everything is pretty haphazard; there are 12 inches in a foot, 16 ounces in a pound, 2 pints in a quart, and so on. The metric system is easier, because for each kind of measurement, there is one basic unit, and the same ways to change that unit to larger or smaller ones. The basic units are length: the meter (about a yard) weight: the gram (a nickel weighs about 5 grams) volume: the liter (about a quart) To name a larger or smaller unit, we add prefixes before the unit name: kilo-: thousand centi-: hundredth milli-: thousandth and a lot of others that aren't used quite as much. Putting these two simple ideas together, 1 kilogram = 1 thousand grams = 1000 grams 1 millimeter = 1 thousandth of a meter = 1/1000 meter and so on. Oh, you'll need one more thing, before you can answer your problem: the symbols (abbreviations) for the units and prefixes. The page I referred to above lists many of them, but here's what you need to start: meter = m gram = g liter = L kilo- = k centi- = c milli- = m So a kilogram is a kg, and a millimeter is a mm. If you have any further questions, feel free to write back. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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