Dozens of various units of measurement were generally used throughout the world by the 18th century. For example, Length could be measured in inches, feet, spans, miles, hands, cubits, palms, furlongs, chains, rods, leagues, and more.
The absence of universal standards resulted in uncertainty and significant inadequacies in trade amid countries. Thus, to ease this problem, the French Government at the end of the century created a system of measurement that could be used all over the world.
The French National Assembly commissioned the Academy of Science in 1790 to develop a simple decimal-based system of units. This system that they planned out is called the metric system. In 1960, the metric system was legitimately named the Système International d’Unités (or SI as an abbreviated form).
Now, the metric system is used in almost every country in the world excluding the United States. The metric system is more or less used in scientific measurement always.
The metric system is simple as there is only one unit of measurement (or base unit) for each type of quantity measured (mass, length, etc.). The three most general base units in the metric system are the gram, meter, and liter.
A meter is a unit of length match to 3.28 feet. The gram is a unit of mass equal to roughly 0.0022 pounds (about the mass of a paper clip). A liter is a unit of volume match to 1.05 quarts. Therefore, length, for instance, is always calculated in meters in the metric system regardless of whether you are calculating the length of the Nile River or the length of your finger.
Use of Prefixes within the Metric system
The prefixes are used within the metric system. The purpose of prefixes is to assign a multiple or subdivision of a unit. The most familiar prefixes are kilo-, mega-, milli-, centi- and nano-. Every prefix assigns power of 10.
The metric system has been accepted by the majority of the world. Different countries use one fundamental unit for each quantity. Prefixes are added to the elementary unit for very large or very small numbers. For illustration, 1,000 meters is more effortlessly denoted as 1 kilometer. On the contrary, 0.001 grams is more simply signified as 1 milligram.
The one-letter acronyms for the prefixes are case sensitive. For instance, capital “M” is the short form for mega-, while lowercase “m” is the short form for milli-. The prefixes added to metric units convey the same meaning for all base units.