Metric System

The metric system is an international decimalised system of measurement that was originally based on the mètre des archives and the kilogramme des archives introduced by France in 1799. Over the years, the definitions of the metre and kilogram have been refined and the metric system extended to incorporate many more units. Although a number of variants of the metric system emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the term is now often used as a synonym for "SI" or the "International System of Units" (French: "Système international d'unités") - the official system of measurement in almost every country in the world.

The United States is the only industrialised country that does not use the metric system as its official system of measurement, although the metric system has been officially sanctioned for use there since 1866. Although the United Kingdom committed to officially adopting the metric system for many measurement applications, it is still not in universal use there and the customary imperial system is still in common and widespread use.

Although the originators intended to devise a system that was equally accessible to all, it proved necessary to use prototype units under the custody of government or other approved authorities as standards. Until 1875 control of the prototype units of measure was maintained by the French Government when it passed to an inter-governmental organisation – the Conférence générale des poids et mesures (CGPM). It is now hoped that the last of these prototypes can be retired by 2014.

From its beginning, the main feature of the metric system was the standard set of inter-related base units and a standard set of prefixes in powers of ten. These base units are used to derive larger and smaller units and replaced a huge number of unstandardised units of measure that existed previously. While the system was first developed for commercial use, its coherent set of units made it particularly suitable for scientific and engineering purposes.

The uncoordinated use of the metric system by different scientific and engineering disciplines, particularly in the late 19th century, resulted in different choices of fundamental units, even though all were based on the same definitions of the metre and the kilogram. During the 20th century, efforts were made to rationalise these units and in 1960 the CGPM published the International System of Units which, since then, has been the internationally recognised standard metric system.

Read more about Metric SystemFeatures, History, Variants, Relating SI To The Real World, Usage Around The World, Conversion Between SI and Legacy Units, Future Developments

Other articles related to "metric system, system, metric systems, systems, metric":

Metric System - Future Developments
... At the 23rd CGPM (2007), the CIPM was mandated to investigate the use of natural constants as the basis for all units of measure rather than the artifacts that were then in use ... At a meeting of the CCU held in Reading, United Kingdom in September 2010, a resolution and draft changes to the SI brochure that were to be presented to the next meeting of the CIPM in October 2010 were agreed to in principle ...
Grave (unit)
... for Units to create a new decimal-based system of measurement ... Antoine Lavoisier, founded the very beginnings of the “metric system”, which later evolved into the contemporary International System of Units (SI) ... Note that the new metric system did not come into effect until after the French Revolution, when the new revolutionary government captured the idea of the metric system ...
Customary Units Of Measure - Metric System
... Metric systems of units have evolved since the adoption of the first well-defined system in France in 1795 ... During this evolution the use of these systems has spread throughout the world, first to non-English-speaking countries, and then to English speaking countries ... Multiples and submultiples of metric units are related by powers of ten and their names are formed with prefixes ...
Customary Units Of Measure - Imperial and US Customary Units
... they have been largely supplanted by the metric system ... but have been mostly replaced by the metric system in commercial, scientific, and industrial applications ... US customary units, however, are still the main system of measurement in the United States ...
Anti-metrication Arguments - High Modernism and Legibility
... He claimed that the metric system originated in the ideology of Pure Reason from the more radical element of the French Revolution, that it was devised in France to try to ... Scott cites the enforcement of the metric system as a specific example of this sort of failed and resented "improvement" imposed by centralizing and standardizing authority ... While the metric system was introduced in the French law by the revolutionary government in April 1795, it did not immediately displace traditional measurements in the popular mind ...

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