## Posted tagged ‘Metric System’

### How big is big?

February 15, 2010

The metric system is a very useful way of having a common system of relation between units of different sizes. The metric system was originally proposed by an Englishman, but didn’t catch on. It was later introduced in France and has since spread across almost the entire world (see the history of the metric system), except for the U.S.A and Myanmar (but scientists across the world all use metric). The advantage of the metric system is common conversion rates – every unit is related in multiples of 10, which makes it easy to convert between different sizes. It wasn’t always so easy:

## LENGTH

 12 lines = 1 inch (in.) 12 inches = 1 foot (ft.) 3 feet (ft.) = 1 yard (yd.) 7.92 inches = 1 link 25 links = 1 rod, pole or perch 16½ feet = 1 rod, pole or perch 5½ yards = 1 rod, pole or perch 4 poles .. = 1 chain 100 links = 1 chain 22 yards = 1 chain 40 poles .. = 1 furlong 220 yards = 1 furlong 8 furlongs = 1 statute mile 5280 feet = 1 mile 1760 yards = 1 mile 2240 yards = 1 Irish mile 3 miles = 1 league

Now that’s confusing! All the different conversion factors makes for such a mess – trying to remember what you multiply by to convert one unit to another is just messy! It makes it much more easy if you can just move the decimal point in order to change between relative sizes by multiplying or dividing by ten.