Base units in the Metric System can be converted into units that are more appropriate for the quantity being measured by adding a prefix to the name of the base unit. The common metric prefixes are given below.
Prefixes are used to help in the description of a quantity of substance along with its units. For example, if there is 0.0000000005 L of water then it would be a lot easier to write it as 500 picoliters (pL) of water. Prefixes therefore remove the cumbersome task of writing data to several decimal places.
A list of prefixes are shown below:
|pico||p||10-12||1 picoliter, (pL) = 0.000000000001L|
|nano||n||10-9||1 nanogram, (ng) = 0.0000000001g|
|micro||µ or u||10-6||1 micrometer (µm) = 0.000001 m|
|milli||m||10-3||1 milliliter (mL) = 0.001 L|
|centi||c||10-2||1 centimeter (cm) = 0.01 m|
|deci||d||10-1||1 decigram (dg) = 0.1 g|
|kilo||K||10 3||1 kilogram (Kg) = 1000 g|
|mega||M||10 6||1 megagram (Mg) = 1,000,000 g|
The base units of length and volume are linked in the metric system. By definition, a liter is equal to the volume of a cube exactly 10 cm tall, 10 cm long and 10 cm wide. Because the volume of this cube is 1000 cubic centimeters and a liter contains 1000 milliliters, 1 milliliter is equivalent to 1 cubic centimeter.
1 mL = 1cm3
1×106 cm3 = 1m3
1000 cm3 = 1L