Information on Different Systems of Units and Measurements

  • #1
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Hello everyone!

I would like to ask a rather comprehensive question. I would appreciate it if you could help me with this.

I have started reading a chemistry textbook recently and typically in the first chapter of any basic chemistry course, you come across, measurement, unit conversion, etc.

Among those topics, there are a few systems of measurement and units that one needs to understand and use in solving problems. The systems that I have come across so far are as follows:
  • Metric System
  • Imperial System
  • English System
  • Avoirdupois System
  • Troy System
  • Apothecary System
  • SI System
  • US Customary System
I need the following categories of information regarding each of the above-mentioned systems:
  • Brief history
  • weather the system is still in use today, if yes, where in the world and in which fields
  • If possible, conversion factors between the multiple system (online or pdf resources)
I would also appreciate it if you added any information not asked by me here to the thread so that these systems can be understood properly.
Different online or pdf resources on conversion, history, etc. would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
At your suggestion, I could break this question up into multiple questions.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
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Sounds like a schoolwork assignment...
 
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  • #3
russ_watters
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...and I would think wikipedia has exactly what you need.
 
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  • #4
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I don't attend any schools. I have been reading on Wikipedia for a few days. It's not bad. There's pieces of information here and there in different articles but it's not easy to make sense of them all because the information is not complete and also, there's a lot of contradicting and conflicting information in those articles.
Any help would be appreciated.
 
  • #5
berkeman
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I don't attend any schools.
Fair enough, but your Profile page says that you are in Undergrad right now...
Education in Progress:
Undergrad
 
  • #6
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I apologize. I just changed that to "Not in School." I chose that option by mistake when I was creating my profile.
 
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  • #7
James Pelezo
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Unless you are going to become an ‘expert’ in weights and measures, I’d suggest concentrating on the ones you’ve found in the opening chapters of the text you are studying. The SI system is the most widely applied for academic chemistry topics. As you progress and work problems on specific topics, then expand your understanding of how different systems would be used to describe the subject of interest. I assume you are reviewing a ‘general chemistry’ text. These are ‘survey courses’ composed of a systematic evolution of chemical concepts. It’s like a jig saw puzzle, you study the many concepts in logical order and at some point, you develop the ‘big picture’ of the subject. Applying different systems of weights and measures to the topics can be done as you progress through the subjects to expand your understanding. Trying to develop a comprehensive overview is admirable but, in my humble opinion, will take away from the subject being studied. Realistically, one can’t apply all the systems you have listed to every topic you will review. Keep it simple and if a problem presents itself in a different system of units, or you wish to understand a common system’s relationship to a different system, then invest your time in reviewing variations in the descriptive systems of units. Just a suggestion.
 
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  • #8
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Unless you are going to become an ‘expert’ in weights and measures, I’d suggest concentrating on the ones you’ve found in the opening chapters of the text you are studying. The SI system is the most widely applied for academic chemistry topics. As you progress and work problems on specific topics, then expand your understanding of how different systems would be used to describe the subject of interest. I assume you are reviewing a ‘general chemistry’ text. These are ‘survey courses’ composed of a systematic evolution of chemical concepts. It’s like a jig saw puzzle, you study the many concepts in logical order and at some point, you develop the ‘big picture’ of the subject. Applying different systems of weights and measures to the topics can be done as you progress through the subjects to expand your understanding. Trying to develop a comprehensive overview is admirable but, in my humble opinion, will take away from the subject being studied. Realistically, one can’t apply all the systems you have listed to every topic you will review. Keep it simple and if a problem presents itself in a different system of units, or you wish to understand a common system’s relationship to a different system, then invest your time in reviewing variations in the descriptive systems of units. Just a suggestion.
Hi James! You're absolutely right. I needed only a very simple overview of these systems just to get me going. Meaning that, for example, when I'm talking about the "avoirdupois" system, what is this thing that I'm talking about. That was missing in the book and then I had to read Wikipedia. Wikipedia is probably the best source if you're trying to find out about something for the very first time but there're also the problem that it also contains almost everything under the sun. Almost every word in an article is linked to another article and in the second article, the same thing applies to every word. So you'll often end up having to go through at least 10 long pages just to find some basic information about some topic. That's the problem with Wikipedia. Finally I had to read all the necessary Wikipedia pages anyway. I agree with your recommendation and thank you for that!
 

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