I was looking at the nutrition label on a chocolate I was eating (yeah yeah, I know. Don’t judge me :) ) and something struck me, the nutrition value was in grams. Even in fluids, the nutrition value was represented in grams. This made me go exploring to see where else the metric system is used. To my surprise, America uses metric system in lots of different areas.
The advantages of having a metric system is many fold, some good ones are one unit of measurement for each physical quantity, easy to use, global standard, supports decimal system (base 10). Let’s see where else metric system is used.
Money : That’s right. America uses metric system here. Hundred, Thousand, Million, Billion, Trillion are all metric. Base 10 system. Doesn’t make any sense to have base 3 in currency, right?
Photography : Consumer side photographic film is sold as 35mm film, all lenses that you buy for digital cameras are in mm, eg) 100mm, 200mm, 18-55mm etc
Computer Peripherals : The processor cycles are measured in mega hertz, giga hertz. Also computer memory is referred as Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera Bytes and so on.
Nutrition Labels in Food : Almost all of the labels you see in the back of food containers/boxes/wrappers use grams to measure the nutrients. Calories are also metric.
Wine/Liquor Bottles : Most wine/Liquor bottles are measured in 330 ml, 500 ml, 750 ml or a litre usually although they may have Fl.Oz or fluid ounces.
Soda : Again, you buy soda from a grocery store, its always in 500 ml, litre or 2 litre bottles. They are the popular sizes.
Bath Products : Bath products such as shampoo, mouthwash, and dental floss have begun to be sold in metric sizes, and PowerBars and similar products have always been sold (but not marketed) by the gram.
Fire Arms : The diameter of the bullet is sometimes measured in mm like the .9 mm, .45 mm etc.
Car Engines : Most car engine displacement capacity is measured in cc which stands for cubic centimeters, eg) 3.2 litre engine, or 3200 cc.
Sports : Most short races are held as 5K, 10K, 15K races. Bicycle frames, skis, snowboards are sold in cms.
Time : Just kidding, time is base 60 and not metric. It is because babylonians were obsessed with the number 60 and used that for everything and time we measure was developed by them.
Did you know?
The use of two different unit systems was the cause of the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter in 1998. NASA specified metric units in the contract. NASA and other organizations applied metric units in their work, but Lockheed Martin, a subcontractor provided thruster performance data to the team in pound force seconds instead of newton seconds. The spacecraft was intended to orbit Mars at about 150 kilometers (93 mi) altitude, but incorrect data probably caused it to descend instead to about 57 kilometers (35 mi), burning up in the Martian atmosphere. – Source: Wikipedia and NASA