Here is a detailed table of some metric prefixes: Note 4
What patterns do you notice in this table?
Some of these prefixes are more commonly used than others, particularly when the base unit is a meter. Which prefixes are you most familiar with?
How can a centimeter, a millimeter, a kilometer, and a micrometer be expressed in terms of a meter?
A kilometer is 1,000 m, but we can also state that it is 1,000,000 mm. Explain how these relationships work.
Try expressing the following quantities in at least two different ways: centimeter, millimeter, and decimeter.
You have probably noticed that the metric system never uses fractions. Instead, fractional quantities are recorded using decimals. Why do you think this is the case?
Think about the nature of the base ten system and how you can easily divide by powers of 10. Since the relationship between prefixes is based on powers of 10, we can switch prefixes easily by simply moving a decimal point. Close Tip
If you want to change 3,600 m to kilometers, what do you do? Explain.
If you want to change 0.028 m to millimeters, what do you do?
If you want to change 4,600,000 mm to kilometers, what do you do?