General Science Metric System Flash Card Set 923357

Cards 10
Focus Metric System
Topics Base Units, Fahrenheit Scale, Number System, Prefixes

Study Guide

Base Units
Measurement Base Unit Example
length / distance meter (m) km
mass gram (g) kg
volume liter (L) mL
volume (medical) cubic centimeter (cc) cc
time second (s), minute (min), hour (h) ms, min, h
temperature centigrade (°C) °C

Fahrenheit Scale

More familiar in the United States is the Fahrenheit scale in which the freezing point of water is 32°F (0°C) and the boiling point is 212°F (100°C). To convert from C° to F° use the formula:

\(F° = {9 \over 5}C° + 32\)

and to convert from F° to C° use:

\(C° = {5 \over 9} (F° - 32)\)

Number System

The metric system is a number system that designates one base unit for each type of measurement. For example, the base unit for length is the meter and the base unit for mass is the gram.


A prefix is added to the base units of the metric system to indicate variations in size. Each prefix specifies a value relative to the base unit in a multiple of 10. Common prefixes are:

Prefix Symbol Relative Value Example
mega M 106 (1,000,000) Mm
kilo k 103 (1,000) km
base unit N/A 1 m
centi c 10-2 (1/100) cm
milli m 10-3 (1/1,000) mm