Chapter 15

How Much Have You Got? Weights and Measures

In This Chapter

arrow Using units for non-discrete measurement

arrow Discovering differences between the English and metric systems

arrow Estimating and calculating English and metric system conversions

In Chapter 4, I introduce you to units, which are items that can be counted, such as apples, coins, or hats. Apples, coins, and hats are easy to count because they're discrete — that is, you can easily see where one ends and the next one begins. But not everything is so easy. For example, how do you count water — by the drop? Even if you tried, exactly how big is a drop?

Units of measurement come in handy at this point. A unit of measurement allows you to count something that isn't discrete: an amount of a liquid or solid, the distance from one place to another, a length of time, the speed at which you're traveling, or the temperature of the air.

In this chapter, I discuss two important systems of measurement: English and metric. You're probably familiar with the English system already, and you may know more than you think about the metric system. Each of these measurement systems provides a different way to measure distance, volume, weight (or ...

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