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Metric Measurement


1975 -The Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-168) passed by Congress. ... However, the Metric Act was devoid of any target dates for metric conversion. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Metric Measurement

Chapter 6
  • By Tens and Tenths
  • Metric Measurement
  • by Holly Baust and Chris Conover

History of Measurement
  • Measure became important when humans began to
  • i.e. how much grain, how large a horse, how long
    a rope, etc.
  • Units were agreed-upon and became standards for
    systems of measurement
  • Early standards included
  • Span
  • Palm
  • Digit
  • Foot
  • Cubit
  • Fathom

History of Measurement
  • Example
  • Measure the width of your desk using your span
  • Compare your span with some of your neighbors

English System of Measurement
  • The standards were based on a king or another
    prominent person.
  • King Henry I
  • Yard
  • Tip of his nose to the tip of his thumb with his
    arm stretched out
  • Became basis for English system
  • Still used in the United States
  • Used almost nowhere else
  • Disadvantages ?

History of the Metric System
  • In 1790, Bishop Charles Maurice de Talleyrand
    proposed a system.
  • Based on one full swing per second made by a
  • Rejected by the French Academy of Sciences
    because temperature and gravity differs
    throughout the world.
  • Instead, a system based on the length of a
    sea-level meridian arc

The Meter
  • Meter one ten-millionth of the meridian arc
  • Advantage system is comprised of multiples of
    powers of ten
  • Multiples of ten less than a meter are named with
    Latin prefixes
  • Multiples of ten greater than a meter are named
    with Greek prefixes

The Meter
Nano 0.000000001 10-9 Micro
0.000001 10-6 Milli 0.001 10-3
Centi 0.01 10-2 Deci 0.1
10-1 no prefix 1.0 100 Deka 10.0
101 Hecto 100.0 102 Kilo
1000.0 103 Mega 1,000,000. 106 Giga
1,000,000,000. 109
The Meter
  • How did they determine the length of the meridian
  • Instead of using the unit degree, the French
    Academy defined grade (grad) as the new unit of
    angular measure based on the powers of ten.
  • 100 grades Right Angle
  • 400 grades Circle
  • Replaced grades with radians
  • Area, volume, and mass

History of the Metric System
  • 1795 Republic of France accepted the French
    Academys system
  • 1812 Napoleon discarded this system
  • 1840 Napoleon reinstated it as the mandatory
    French system
  • 1875 17 countries signed the Treaty of the
  • 1960 Meter redefined in terms of wavelength.
  • 1983 Redefined again to the distance traveled
    by light inside a vacuum during a second.

The U.S. and the Metric System
  • 1866 Made the metric system legal, but not
    mandatory in commerce.
  • 1875 Signed the Treaty of the Meter
  • 1975 Metric Conversion Act
  • Urged voluntary conversion to the metric system
  • Little progress was made
  • U.S. is one of the last to adopt the metric
    system as its official measurement system

  • 1790 - Bishop Charles Maurice de Talleyrand
    proposed a system based on the length of a
    pendulum that would make one full swing per
  • 1795 -France officially adopted the metric
  • 1812 -Napoleon temporarily suspended the
    compulsory provisions of the 1795 metric system
  • 1840 -The metric system reinstated as the
    compulsory system in France.
  • 1866 - The use of the metric system made legal
    (but not mandatory) in the United States. This
    law also made it unlawful to refuse to trade or
    deal in metric quantities.

  • 1875 -The Convention of the Metre signed in Paris
    by 17 nations, including the United States. The
    Meter Convention, often called the Treaty of the
    Meter in the United States, provided for
    improved metric weights and measures and the
    establishment of the General Conference on
    Weights and Measures (CGPM) devoted to
    international agreement on matters of weights
    and measures.
  • 1960 -The meter was redefined in terms of
    wavelengths of light.
  • 1975 -The Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (Public
    Law 94-168) passed by Congress. The Metric Act
    established the U.S. Metric Board to coordinate
    and plan the increasing use and voluntary
    conversion to the metric system. However, the
    Metric Act was devoid of any target dates for
    metric conversion.
  • 1983 -The meter is redefined in terms of the
    speed of light.

Future Timeline
  • before the end of 2009
  • The U.S. should allow metric-only packaging by
    amending the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act
    (FPLA). This would be a good step towards meeting
    EU requirements for SI-only labels in 2009.
  • 2009 December 31
  • All products sold in Europe (with limited
    exceptions) will be required to have only
    SI-metric units on their labels. Dual labeling
    will not be permitted. Implementation of the
    labeling directive, previously 1999 December 31,
    was extended by the EU Commission for 10 years,
    giving more time for companies to comply and for
    U.S. regulations to allow metric-only labeling on
    consumer products.

Works Cited
  • Berlinghoff, William P., and Fernando Q. Gouvêa.
    Math Through the Ages a Gentle History for
    Teachers and Others. Farmington Oxton House,
    2002. 87-90.
  • "Early Measurement History." ThinkQuest. Oracle
    Education Fund. 11 Sept. 2006
  • "Toward a Metric America." The National Institute
    of Standards and Technology. Dec. 2003. NIST. 6
    Sept. 2006 .
  • U.S. Metric Association. 3 Sept. 2006. U.S.
    Metric Association. 3 Sept. 2006