The decimal sysytem

Adopted in France and on the Continent, is used in this country in scientific research. The standard of length is the metre (1/10,000,000 of a quadrant of the earth's meridian), which is equal (as corrected by Prof. Bache) to 39.36850535 inches, or, roughly, about 3 1/4 feet. This, as well as the measures of capacity and weight, is increased or divided decimally. The prefixes are deca (10 times), hecto (100 times), kilo ( 1000 times), and myria (10,000 times); deci (1/10), centi (1/100), milli (1/1000). The kilometre is equal to about two-thirds of a mile.

The cubic decimetre is the unit of capacity, and is called a litre, and is equal to 1.765 imperial pints, or 2.1135 wine pints (the latter are used in the United States). The weight of 1 litre of water at 39.10, is called a kilogramme, and that of a millilitre of water a gramme = 15.434 grains. The kilogramme is rather less than 2 1/4 lbs. avoirdupois. The metrical pound of France is half a kilogramme. One fluidounce equals in capacity 29.53 cubic centimetres.

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