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Measurements An Introduction to All Things Quantitative Objectives After this presentation, you should be able to: Describe the need for measuring things. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Measurements

  • An Introduction to All Things Quantitative

  • After this presentation, you should be able to
  • Describe the need for measuring things.
  • Define quantitative in your own words.
  • Name and describe five properties that can be
  • Name the two systems of measurement in use and
    how they differ.

Why Measure?
  • Measurements are among the earliest tools created
    by human beings.
  • They were created to accomplish many tasks
  • The construction of dwellings and monuments
  • The fashioning of clothing
  • The bartering of food or raw materials

What Can be Measured?
  • There are many physical properties that can be
    measured in the world around us.
  • Any property that can be measured and assigned a
    numerical value is said to be a quantitative
    (think quantity) property.
  • Examples of quantitative properties include
    length, weight, brightness, heat, loudness,
    volume, as well as many more.

More Qualitative Properties
  • Time
  • Mass
  • Amount
  • Electrical current
  • Area
  • Speed
  • Velocity
  • Density

Systems of Measurement
  • In use today, there are two major systems of
    measurement, the Imperial units (upon which our
    system of measurements are largely based) and the
    metric system.
  • We, in the United States are probably most
    familiar with the Imperial system, however in the
    majority of the rest of the world, the metric
    system is the dominant system of measurements.

History of Measurement
  • Length
  • A cubit is the length of the forearm from the tip
    of the elbow to the tip of the middle finger.
  • The cubit was dived into two spans (the distance
    between the tip of the thumb to the tip of the
    pinky in an outstretched hand).
  • It was also divided into six hands (the width of
    the hand)
  • It was also dived into 24 digits (the width of
    the middle finger)

History of Measurement
  • The inch, foot, and yard were derived from these
  • The roman foot was divided into 12 unciae and 16
  • The roman mile consisted of 5000 feet, or 1000
  • Queen Elizabeth I changed the mile to what we
    know it as today, 5280ft.

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The Need for Standardization
  • During the development of measurements, the same
    unit came to measure slightly different amounts
    depending upon where in the world it was used, by
    whom it was being used, or who was the ruler of
    the country/empire at the time.
  • This discontinuity lead to trade disputes and
    made life difficult for merchantsa change was

The Metric System (SI)
  • The metric system (often abbreviated as the SI
    system due to its French roots) is the
    measurement system preferred by scientists around
    the world.
  • It was created by the French and is used by all
    but three nations (Burma, Liberia, and The United
    States) as their official system of measurement.

The Metric System
  • Perhaps the most significant advantage to the
    metric system is the fact that it address the
    seemingly arbitrary relationship between
    different units for measuring the same property
    within the imperial system.
  • Examples Why are there 12 inches in a foot, but
    three feet in a yard? Why are their 2 pints in a
    quart, but 4 quarts in a gallon?

The Metric System
  • Because it is based on powers of 10, the metric
    system makes it easy to go from small units to
    large units within the base (length, mass,
  • For example, there are 10 millimeter in 1
    centimeter, there are 1000 meters in 1 kilometer,
    there are 10 grams in one decagram.

The Metric System
  • Another important characteristic of the metric
    system is the interconnectedness of the base
    units of mass, length, and volume and time.
  • If we construct a box whose sides are all 1cm x
    1cm, it would fit exactly 1 milliliter of water
    whose mass would be exactly 1 gram.
  • If we construct a pendulum whose length is 1
    meter, its period (the time it takes to complete
    a swing) is 1 second.

Wrap up
  • Why measure?
  • What is a quantitative property?
  • What are five properties that can be measured?
  • What are the two dominant systems of measurement
    in use today and how do they differ?
  • Body Measurement lab
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