Metric Measurement MetricConversionsHandout

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Metric Conversions
Kilo
Means
1000
Units
Hecto
Means
100
Units
To convert to a smaller unit, move the
decimal point to the right or multiply by 10
for each step down (and to the right)
Deka
Means
10
Units
◄────────
Base
Units
Meter, Liter
Gram
────────►
Deci
Means
0.1
Units
To convert to a larger unit, move the decimal
point to the left or divide by 10 for each step
up (and to the left)
Factor
1024
1021
1018
1015
1012
109
106
103
102
101
100
10-1
10-2
10-3
10-6
10-9
10-12
10-15
10-18
10-21
10-24
In Numbers
1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
1 000 000 000 000 000 000
1 000 000 000 000 000
1 000 000 000 000
1 000 000 000
1 000 000
1 000
100
10
1
0.1
0.01
0.001
0.000 001
0.000 000 001
0.000 000 000 001
0.000 000 000 000 001
0.000 000 000 000 000 001
0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001
0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001
In Words
Septillion
Sextillion
Quintillion
Quadrillion
Trillion
Billion
Million
Thousand
Hundred
Ten
Base
Tenth
Hundredth
Thousandth
Millionth
Billionth
Trillionth
Quadrillionth
Quintillionth
Sextillionth
Septillionth
Centi
Means
0.01
Units
Milli
Means
0.001
Units
SI Prefix
YottaZettaExaPetaTeraGigaMegaKiloHectoDeka-
SI Symbol
Y
Z
E
P
T
G
M
k
h
da
DeciCentiMilliMicroNanoPicoFemtoAttoZeptoYocto-
d
c
m
µ
n
p
f
a
z
y
Information from National Institute of Standards and Technology: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/index.html
•
•
•
For every step on the chart, you are stepping up or down by powers of 10. One step might be equal to 10 or it might be equal
to 1000. Be careful to look at the actual base 10 the step represents on the chart.
When you go up the chart you are expressing a value in a larger unit than it was previously expressed, so you divide the value
by the number of power of tens moved on the chart.
When you go down the chart you are expressing a value in a small unit than it was previously expressed, so you multiply the
value by the number of powers of tens moved on the chart.
Example #1: To convert 8000 mg to hg, you are moving upward on the chart from 10-3 to 102, this is a total change of 105 or 100000
8000 mg ÷ 100,000 = 0.08 hg
Shortcut: Just move the decimal point one place for each
power of ten (no need for calculators)
Example #2: To convert 2 km to pm, you are moving downward on the chart from 103 to 10-12, this is a total change of 1015. So, you
multiply by 1,000,000,000,000,000 ( or 1015)
 2 km x 1015 = 2,000,000,000,000,000 pm or simply 2 x 1015 pm
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