Systme international

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The système international of units (French for "international system"), more commonly known as the metric system, is a system of standardized measurements or units that are based on the number ten.

Origin

The metric system was first suggested at the prodigious French school École Polytechnique, supported by well-known mathematician and physicist Joseph Louis Lagrange. They derived the metric unit of length, the meter, from what they considered to be $\frac{1}{10^6}$th of the distance from a certain point in Europe to the North Pole. It is now known that it is actually approximately $\frac{1.16}{10^6}$th of the distance.

Prefixes

The majority of the units of the metric system can be increased or decreased by factors of ten using the following system:

  • Yocto - $10^{-24}$
  • Zepto - $10^{-21}$
  • Atto - $10^{-18}$
  • Femto - $10^{-15}$
  • Pico - $10^{-12}$
  • Nano - $10^{-9}$
  • Micro - $10^{-6}$
  • Milli - $10^{-3}$
  • Centi - $10^{-2}$
  • Deci - $10^{-1}$
  • No prefix - $10^{0}$, or just $1$.
  • Deka (or Deca) - $10^{1}$
  • Hecto - $10^{2}$
  • Kilo - $10^3$
  • Mega - $10^6$
  • Giga - $10^9$
  • Tera - $10^{12}$
  • Peta - $10^{15}$
  • Exa - $10^{18}$
  • Zetta - $10^{21}$
  • Yotta - $10^{24}$

Types of Measure

The following measures are part of the metric system:

See Also

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