Measures of liquid volume, sometimes referred to as capacity, include the liter (L) and the milliliter (mL). These terms are holdovers from an older version of the metric system and, because they are so well known, are approved for use with the current SI. Volume, whether liquid or solid, is a measure of space. Solid volume is measured using cubic meters (m3) as the base unit. Liquid volume is most often measured using liters. In Session 8, we will explore measures of solid volume in detail, but we will begin to examine the relationships among measures of solid and liquid volume in this session.
By definition, a liter is equivalent to 1,000 cm3 (or one 1 dm3). This leads to the conclusion that 1 mL is equivalent to 1 cm3. Large volumes may be stated in liters but are usually recorded in cubic meters. Note 7