Galaxynet :: Metric Conversion
This page provides automatic conversion of some units of measurement to be found in use around
the world today (and a few of historical interest), so you can change them into a 'standard'
unit of the SI. Le Systeme international d'Unites officially came into being in October
1960 and has been adopted by nearly all countries, though the amount of actual usage varies
considerably. This page is by no means complete, and only covers the most common units of
measure. Also, liters and meters are spelled with the E and R purposely transposed, as
spelled in metric countries  litres and metres.
Choose a Calculator:
Length 
Weight 
Pressure 
Volume 
Power 
Astronomical Distance 
Area 
Speed 
Force 
Fuel Consumption 
Energy 
Temperature 
Date
Date Calculator
Enter a date in the fields provided, and this calculator will tell you
how many years and days since or before the provided date. Enter only
numbers.
Prefixes of the SI
The SI allows the sizes of units to be made bigger or smaller by the use of appropriate
prefixes. For example, the cycle unit of a hertz [hz] is not a big unit in terms of
ordinary computer speed, so it is generally used in terms of 1,000,000 hertz at a time.
The prefix for 1,000,000 is mega, so we use megahertz [Mhz] as our unit of measurement.
For your computer, it is common to use megahertz [Mhz] to describe the speed of the
Central Processing Unit (CPU). A 200 Mhz CPU runs at 200 million cycles. When talking
about your hard drive, bytes [B] are used, and common prefixes for hard drives are mega [M],
giga [G], and even terra [T]. A 4.3 gigabyte [GB] hard drive can store roughly 4 billion, 300
million bytes of data, while a 2 terrabyte [TB] disk array could store 2 trillion bytes of
data. That's a lot of space! The full range of prefixes with their symbols (or
abbreviations) and their multiplying factors which are also given in other
forms:
Prefix  Symbol  Factor  Full Value  Name 
yotta  Y  +24  1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000  septillion 
zetta  Z  +21  1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000  sextillion 
exa  E  +18  1,000,000,000,000,000,000  quintillion 
peta  P  +15  1,000,000,000,000,000  quadrillion 
tera  T  +12  1,000,000,000,000  trillion 
giga  G  +9  1,000,000,000  billion 
mega  M  +6  1,000,000  million 
kilo  k  +3  1,000  thousand 
hecto  h  +2  100  hundred 
deca  da  +1  10  ten 
  0  1  one 
deci  d  1  0.1  tenth 
centi  c  2  0.01  hundredth 
milli  m  3  0.001  thousandth 
micro  µ  6  0.000,001  millionth 
nano  n  9  0.000,000,001  billionth 
pico  p  12  0.000,000,000,001  trillionth 
femto  f  15  0.000,000,000,000,001  quadrillionth 
atto  a  18  0.000,000,000,000,000,001  quintillionth 
zepto  z  21  0.000,000,000,000,000,000,001  sextillionth 
yocto  y  24  0.000,000,000,000,000,000,000,001  septillionth 
A Brief History of Measurement
One of the earliest types of measurement concerned that of length. These measurements were
usually based on parts of the body. A well documented example (the first) is the Egyptian
cubit which was derived from the length of the arm from the elbow to the outstretched finger
tips. By 2500 BC this had been standardized in a royal master cubit made of black marble
(about 52 cm). This cubit was divided into 28 digits (roughly a finger width) which could
be further divided into fractional parts, the smallest of these being only just over a
millimetre.
In England, units of measurement were not properly standardized until the 13th century, though
variations (and abuses) continued until long after that. For example, there were three
different gallons (ale, wine and corn) up until 1824 when the gallon was
standardized.
In the US the system of weights and measured first adopted was that of the English, though
a few differences came in when decisions were made at the time of standardization in 1836. For
instance, the winegallon of 231 cubic inches was used instead of the English one (as defined
in 1824) of about 277 cubic inches. The US also took as its standard of dry measure from the
old Winchester bushel of 2150.42 cubic inches, which gave a dry gallon nearly 269 cubic
inches.
Even as late as the middle of the 20th century there were some differences in UK and US
measures which were nominally the same. The UK inch measured 2.53998 cm while the US inch was
2.540005 cm. Both were standardized at 2.54 cm in July 1959, though the US continued to use
its 2.540005 value for several years in land surveying work  this too is slowly being
metricated.
In France the metric system officially started in June 1799 with the declared intent of being
'For all people, for all time'. The unit of length was the metre which was defined as being
one tenmillionth part of a quarter of the earth's circumference. The production of this
standard required a very careful survey to be done which took several years. However, as more
accurate instruments became available so the 'exactness' of the standard was called into
question. Later efforts were directed at finding some absolute standard based on an observable
physical phenomenon. Over two centuries this developed into the SI. So maybe their original
slogan was more correct than anyone could have foreseen then.
The US System of Measurements
Most of the US system of measurements is the same as that for the UK. The biggest differences
to be noted are in Capacity which has both liquid and dry measures as well as being based on
a different standard  the US liquid gallon is smaller than the UK gallon. There is also a
measurement known as the US survey foot. It is gradually being phased out as the maps and land
plans are redrawn under metrication. (The changeover is being made by putting 39.37 US
survey feet equal to 12 metres)
Length 
12 inches  1 foot 
3 feet  1 yard 
220 yards  1 furlong 
8 furlongs  1 mile 
5280 feet  1 mile 
1760 yards  1 mile 
Area 
144 sq. inches  1 sq. foot 
9 sq. feet  1 square yard 
4840 sq. yards  1 acre 
640 acres  1 square mile 
1 sq.mile  1 section 
36 sections  1 township 
Capacity (Dry) 
2 pints  1 quart 
8 quarts  1 peck 
4 pecks  1 bushel 
Capacity (Liquid) 
4 ounces  1 gill 
4 gills  1 pint 
16 fluid ounces  1 pint 
2 pints  1 quart 
4 quarts  1 gallon 
8 pints  1 gallon 

Volume 
1728 cu. inches  1 cubic foot 
27 cu. feet  1 cubic yard 
Mass 
437.5 grains  1 ounce 
7000 grains  1 pound 
16 ounces  1 pound 
14 pounds  1 stone 
100 pounds  1 hundredweight 
2000 pounds  1 ton 
20 hundredweight  1 ton 
Troy Weights 
24 grains  1 pennyweight 
20 pennyweights  1 ounce 
480 grains  1 ounce 
12 ounces  1 pound 
5760 grains  1 pound 
Apothecaries' Measures 
60 minims  1 fl.dram 
8 fl.drams  1 fl.ounce 
16 fl.ounces  1 pint 
Apothecaries' Weights 
20 grains  1 scruple 
3 scruples  1 dram 
8 drams  1 ounce 

