## The metric system

How well do you know your metric vocab? Below are a list of prefixes used in the metric system, arranged in order of size. Can you fill in the blanks?

trillions |
billions |
millions |
thousands |
ones |
thousandths |
millionths |
billionths |
trillionths |

tera | mega | (none) | pico |

## Metric Quiz

To make this interactive, turn on javascript!

You already know the metric system? That's great. Below is a short quiz –
**if you can answer all 8 questions correctly within 4 minutes**,
feel free to skip this page. If not, you might want to brush up a little.

NOTE: do NOT put commas in your numbers -- the program is not smart enough to understand them!

**The brain of an elephant can weigh up to 7.5 kilograms. **

What is this in grams?
g

**Homo sapiens have a brain volume of about 1350 mL. **

How much is this in liters?
L

**A mouse brain weighs about 400 milligrams. **

What is this in micrograms?
micrograms

**Ribosomes start at about 11 nm. **

How many micrometers is this?
microns

**A mitochondrion averages 0.5 micrometers across. **

How much is this in nanometers?
nm

**Commander Spock identifies a new strain of bacteria which averages 17.83 micrometers. **

How many nanometers is this?
nanometers

**The nerve cell running the length of a giraffe's neck can measure up to 3100 millimeters. **

How much is this in meters?
m

in micrometers?
microns

Answers: 7500, 1.35, 400000, 0.011, 500, 17830, 3.1, 3100000

## If you need to brush up...

The easiest way to convert metric measurements is to move the decimal place. Remember that metric vocab? It went like this:

tera – giga – mega – kilo – no prefix – milli – micro – nano – pico

Every time you move to the right on this list, the unit gets smaller (by 3 decimal places), so you need more of them to compensate (move the decimal place 3 to the right).

If you turn on javascript, this becomes a rollover |

If you turn on javascript, this becomes a rollover |

If you turn on javascript, this becomes a rollover |

For example, a human egg is 0.1 millimeters in diameter. So, in nanometers, this is:

To summarize, remember that the SMALLER the unit, the MORE of them you need to make the same measurement, so move the decimal in the appropriate direction.

Now try the quiz again...

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