Metric Measurement System
In the metric system,
we use the gram to measure units of weight,
the liter to measure units of volume,
and the meter to measure units of length.
Measurements can vary in scale depending upon the application. We use prefixes to precede these basic units of measurement to indicate a multiple or fraction of that unit.
The most often used prefixes are
- micro ( 1 / 1,000,000 of 1 unit )
- milli ( 1 / 1,000 of 1 unit )
- centi ( 1 / 100 of 1 unit )
- kilo ( 1,000 times 1 unit )
Picture something familiar to mostly anyone — a 2 liter bottle of soda. This will aide you in visualizing what 2 milliliters of a liquid looks like. 2 milliliters (or 2 mL for short) is equivalent to 2 TIMES (1 / 1,000 of 1 liter). We may see this written in terms of the base unit itself as 0.002 liters (or 0.002 L for short) because 2 TIMES (1 / 1,000 of 1 liter) is equal to 0.002 liters, arithmetically.
Tablet and capsule dosage strengths are commonly written in milligrams. A 325 milligram (325 mg for short) Tylenol ® (generic name acetaminophen) capsule contains 0.325 g of the active ingredient.
PRACTICE: Rewrite the following weights in grams:
- 10 kg
- 700 mg
- 500 micrograms