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Question About Conversion Units

  1. Aug 25, 2010 #1
    I didn't use the template because I'm trying to understand a concept which applies to many problems rather than just one.

    Many times in exercises I am assigned, I am asked to convert from one unit of measurement to the other. For the most part it's easy to understand, but what confuses me is when I'm asked to convert between units that are unknown to me.

    For example, one of my questions asked me how many micrometers are in a kilometer. I know how many centimeters make up a meter and how many meters make up a kilometer, but how am I supposed to figure how many micrometers make up a centimeter or meter without having to look it up outside the confines of my book?

    Is there some method I have to develop on my own to discover things like this or am I supposed to look to secondary sources to find the information I need?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2010 #2


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    No. All you need to know is that things like micro, mega, nano, etc. stand for specific powers of 10. They are not different units. Most textbooks tabulate these and their corresponding powers of 10 either on the inside cover or in an appendix. Look them up and memorize the ones you encounter most often.

    *** On edit ***
    This link shows what I mean if your textbook does not.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  4. Aug 26, 2010 #3
    Thanks. The link you posted really hoped hammer in what you said to me.
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