History of the Metric System

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Unlike today, where most scientific communities use the standard unit of measurement called the metric system, early measurements were based on human body parts. In time, nations developed their own different units of measure. Due to all the different national measurements, it was difficult for scientists to understand each other, resulting in chaos. For example, if the United States conducted an experiment and France wanted to mimic the experiment, the different units of measure would make the conversions more complicated and frustrating. As science progressed, scientists felt a need to communicate their results to scientists in other parts of the world. Because of the differences in the national systems of measurement, it made communicating results difficult for many scientists. For this reason, it became imperative for a standard unit of measurement to be developed for the scientific community. In the late seventeen-hundreds to the early eighteen-hundreds, the French Academy of Sciences started to develop the first world wide system of measure. This system of measurement called the metric system, or le Systeme International d¡¦Unites, eliminated the confusion between different nations and helped scientists communicate between each other. The metric system was created during the time of the French Revolution. It was created during this point in time because after France broke lose from the reign of Louis XIV, the country no longer had to follow the confusing system of measure used by the king. France took this opportunity to make a system easier to understand and use. Experimental results were then able to be shared helping different countries advance in technology. On June 22, 1799, the French developed the first two base units, the meter and the kilogram. The meter is one ten-millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the equator and is used for measuring length. The word meter is taken from the Greek word metron, meaning measure. The...
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