Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Search
Follow The Annenberg Learner on LinkedIn Follow The Annenberg Learner on Facebook Follow Annenberg Learner on Twitter
MENU
Learning Math Home
Measurement Session 3: Measurement Systems
 
Session 3 Part A Part B Homework
 
Glossary
Measurement Site Map
Session 3 Materials:
Notes
Solutions
Video

Session 3, Part A:
Metric System Basics

In This Part: History | Units and Prefixes | Working With Metric Prefixes

Here is a detailed table of some metric prefixes: Note 4

Prefixes and Their Equivalents

Symbol

Prefix

Factor

Ordinary Notation

U.S. Name

European Name

T

tera

1012

1,000,000,000,000

trillion

billion

G

giga

109

1,000,000,000

billion

milliard

M

mega

106

1,000,000

million

 

k

kilo

103

1,000

thousand

 

h

hecto

102

100

hundred

 

da

deka

101

10

ten

 

 

 

100

1

one

 

d

deci

10-1

0.1

tenth

 

c

centi

10-2

0.01

hundredth

 

m

milli

10-3

0.001

thousandth

 

µ

micro

10-6

0.000 001

millionth

 

n

nano

10-9

0.000 000 001

billionth

thousand millionth

p

pico

10-12

0.000 000 000 001

trillionth

billionth


 

Problem A3

Solution  

a. 

What patterns do you notice in this table?

b. 

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?

c. 

How can a centimeter, a millimeter, a kilometer, and a micrometer be expressed in terms of a meter?

d. 

A kilometer is 1,000 m, but we can also state that it is 1,000,000 mm. Explain how these relationships work.

e. 

Try expressing the following quantities in at least two different ways: centimeter, millimeter, and decimeter.


 

Problem A4

Solution  

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?


Stop!  Do the above problem before you proceed.  Use the tip text to help you solve the problem if you get stuck.
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

 

Problem A5

Solution  

a. 

If you want to change 3,600 m to kilometers, what do you do? Explain.

b. 

If you want to change 0.028 m to millimeters, what do you do?

c. 

If you want to change 4,600,000 mm to kilometers, what do you do?


Take it Further

Problem A6

Solution

The Sun is 150 gigameters (Gm) from the Earth. The Moon is 384 megameters (Mm) from the Earth. How many times farther from the Earth is the Sun than the Moon?


 

Next > Part B: Metric Units

Learning Math Home | Measurement Home | Glossary | Map | ©

Session 3: Index | Notes | Solutions | Video

© Annenberg Foundation 2014. All rights reserved. Legal Policy