The International System of Units (SI, abbreviated

from the French Système international (d’unités)) is the modern form of the metric system, and

is the most widely used system of measurement. It comprises a coherent system of units of

measurement built on seven base units, which are the ampere, kelvin, second, metre, kilogram,

candela, mole, and a set of twenty prefixes to the unit names and unit symbols that may

be used when specifying multiples and fractions of the units. The system also specifies names

for 22 derived units, such as lumen and watt, for other common physical quantities.

The base units are derived from invariant constants of nature, such as the speed of

light in vacuum and the triple point of water, which can be observed and measured with great

accuracy, and one physical artefact. The artefact is the international prototype kilogram, certified

in 1889, and consisting of a cylinder of platinum-iridium, which nominally has the same mass as one litre

of water at the freezing point. Its stability has been a matter of significant concern,

culminating in a revision of the definition of the base units entirely in terms of constants

of nature, scheduled to be put into effect on 20 May 2019.Derived units may be defined

in terms of base units or other derived units. They are adopted to facilitate measurement

of diverse quantities. The SI is intended to be an evolving system; units and prefixes

are created and unit definitions are modified through international agreement as the technology

of measurement progresses and the precision of measurements improves. The most recent

derived unit, the katal, was defined in 1999. The reliability of the SI depends not only

on the precise measurement of standards for the base units in terms of various physical

constants of nature, but also on precise definition of those constants. The set of underlying

constants is modified as more stable constants are found, or may be more precisely measured.

For example, in 1983 the metre was redefined as the distance that light propagates in vacuum

in a given fraction of a second, thus making the value of the speed of light in terms of

the defined units exact. The motivation for the development of the

SI was the diversity of units that had sprung up within the centimetre–gram–second (CGS)

systems (specifically the inconsistency between the systems of electrostatic units and electromagnetic

units) and the lack of coordination between the various disciplines that used them. The

General Conference on Weights and Measures (French: Conférence générale des poids

et mesures – CGPM), which was established by the Metre Convention of 1875, brought together

many international organisations to establish the definitions and standards of a new system

and standardise the rules for writing and presenting measurements. The system was published

in 1960 as a result of an initiative that began in 1948. It is based on the metre–kilogram–second

system of units (MKS) rather than any variant of the CGS. Since then, the SI has been adopted

by all countries except the United States, Liberia and Myanmar.==Units and prefixes==

The International System of Units consists of a set of base units, derived units, and

a set of decimal-based multipliers that are used as prefixes. The units, excluding prefixed

units, form a coherent system of units, which is based on a system of quantities in such

a way that the equations between the numerical values expressed in coherent units have exactly

the same form, including numerical factors, as the corresponding equations between the

quantities. For example, 1 N=1 kg × 1 m/s2 says that one newton is the force required

to accelerate a mass of one kilogram at one metre per second squared, as related through

the principle of coherence to the equation relating the corresponding quantities: F=m

× a. Derived units apply to derived quantities,

which may by definition be expressed in terms of base quantities, and thus are not independent;

for example, electrical conductance is the inverse of electrical resistance, with the

consequence that the siemens is the inverse of the ohm, and similarly, the ohm and siemens

can be replaced with a ratio of an ampere and a volt, because those quantities bear

a defined relationship to each other. Other useful derived quantities can be specified

in terms of the SI base and derived units that have no named units in the SI system,

such as acceleration, which is defined in SI units as m/s2.===Base units===The SI base units are the building blocks

of the system and all the other units are derived from them. When Maxwell first introduced

the concept of a coherent system, he identified three quantities that could be used as base

units: mass, length and time. Giorgi later identified the need for an electrical base

unit, for which the unit of electric current was chosen for SI. Another three base units

(for temperature, amount of substance and luminous intensity) were added later. The early metric systems defined a unit of

weight as a base unit, while the SI defines an analogous unit of mass. In everyday use,

these are mostly interchangeable, but in scientific contexts the difference matters. Mass, strictly

the inertial mass, represents a quantity of matter. It relates the acceleration of a body

to the applied force via Newton’s law, F=m × a: force equals mass times acceleration.

A force of 1 N (newton) applied to a mass of 1 kg will accelerate it at 1 m/s2. This

is true whether the object is floating in space or in a gravity field e.g. at the Earth’s

surface. Weight is the force exerted on a body by a gravitational field, and hence its

weight depends on the strength of the gravitational field. Weight of a 1 kg mass at the Earth’s

surface is m × g; mass times the acceleration due to gravity, which is 9.81 newtons at the

Earth’s surface and is about 3.5 newtons at the surface of Mars. Since the acceleration

due to gravity is local and varies by location and altitude on the Earth, weight is unsuitable

for precision measurements of a property of a body, and this makes a unit of weight unsuitable

as a base unit.===Derived units===The derived units in the SI are formed by

powers, products or quotients of the base units and are unlimited in number. Derived

units are associated with derived quantities; for example, velocity is a quantity that is

derived from the base quantities of time and length, and thus the SI derived unit is metre

per second (symbol m/s). The dimensions of derived units can be expressed in terms of

the dimensions of the base units. Combinations of base and derived units may

be used to express other derived units. For example, the SI unit of force is the newton

(N), the SI unit of pressure is the pascal (Pa)—and the pascal can be defined as one

newton per square metre (N/m2).===Prefixes===Prefixes are added to unit names to produce

multiples and sub-multiples of the original unit. All of these are integer powers of ten,

and above a hundred or below a hundredth all are integer powers of a thousand. For example,

kilo- denotes a multiple of a thousand and milli- denotes a multiple of a thousandth,

so there are one thousand millimetres to the metre and one thousand metres to the kilometre.

The prefixes are never combined, so for example a millionth of a metre is a micrometre, not

a millimillimetre. Multiples of the kilogram are named as if the gram were the base unit,

so a millionth of a kilogram is a milligram, not a microkilogram. When prefixes are used

to form multiples and submultiples of SI base and derived units, the resulting units are

no longer coherent.The BIPM specifies twenty prefixes for the International System of Units

(SI):===Non-SI units accepted for use with SI

===Many non-SI units continue to be used in the

scientific, technical, and commercial literature. Some units are deeply embedded in history

and culture, and their use has not been entirely replaced by their SI alternatives. The CIPM

recognised and acknowledged such traditions by compiling a list of non-SI units accepted

for use with SI, which are grouped as follows: Non-SI units accepted for use with the SI

(Table 6): Certain units of time, angle, and legacy non-SI

units have a long history of consistent use. Most societies have used the solar day and

its non-decimal subdivisions as a basis of time and, unlike the foot or the pound, these

were the same regardless of where they were being measured. The radian, being 1/2π of

a revolution, has mathematical advantages but it is cumbersome for navigation, and,

as with time, the units used in navigation are largely consistent around the world. The

tonne, litre, and hectare were adopted by the CGPM in 1879 and have been retained as

units that may be used alongside SI units, having been given unique symbols. The catalogued

units are minute, hour, day, degree of arc, minute of

arc, second of arc, hectare, litre, tonne, astronomical unit

Some of the units listed in Table 7 and Table 8 are also accepted for use with the SI.

Non-SI units whose values in SI units must be obtained experimentally (Table 7):

Physicists often use units of measure that are based on natural phenomena, particularly

when the quantities associated with these phenomena are many orders of magnitude greater

than or less than the equivalent SI unit. The most common ones have been catalogued

in the SI Brochure together with consistent symbols and accepted values, but with the

caveat that their values in SI units need to be measured.

electronvolt (symbol eV), and dalton/unified atomic mass unit (Da or u)

Other non-SI units (Table 8): A number of non-SI units that had never been

formally sanctioned by the CGPM have continued to be used across the globe in many spheres

including health care and navigation. As with the units of measure in Tables 6 and 7, these

have been catalogued by the CIPM in the SI Brochure to ensure consistent usage, but with

the recommendation that authors who use them should define them wherever they are used.

bar, millimetre of mercury, ångström, nautical mile, barn, knot, neper, bel and decibel

The neper, bel and decibel have been accepted for use with the SI by the CIPM.

In the interests of standardising health-related units of measure used in the nuclear industry,

the 12th CGPM (1964) accepted the continued use of the curie (symbol Ci) as a non-SI unit

of activity for radionuclides; the SI derived units becquerel, sievert and gray were adopted

in later years. Similarly, the millimetre of mercury (symbol mmHg) was retained for

measuring blood pressure. Non-SI units associated with the CGS and the

CGS-Gaussian system of units (Table 9): The SI manual also catalogues a number of

legacy units of measure that are used in specific fields such as geodesy and geophysics or are

found in the literature, particularly in classical and relativistic electrodynamics where they

have certain advantages. The units that are catalogued are:

erg, dyne, poise, stokes, stilb, phot, gal, maxwell, gauss, and oersted.===Common notions of the metric units===

The basic units of the metric system, as originally defined, represented common quantities or

relationships in nature. They still do – the modern precisely defined quantities are refinements

of definition and methodology, but still with the same magnitudes. In cases where laboratory

precision may not be required or available, or where approximations are good enough, the

original definitions may suffice. A second is 1/60 of a minute, which is 1/60

of an hour, which is 1/24 of a day, so a second is 1/86400 of a day; a second is the time

it takes a dense object to freely fall 4.9 metres from rest.

The metre is close to the length of a pendulum that has a period of 2 seconds; most dining

tabletops are about 0.75 metre high; a very tall human (basketball forward) is about 2

metres tall. The kilogram is the mass of a litre of cold

water; a cubic centimetre or millilitre of water has a mass of one gram; a 1-euro coin,

7.5 g; a Sacagawea US 1-dollar coin, 8.1 g; a UK 50-pence coin, 8.0 g.

A candela is about the luminous intensity of a moderately bright candle, or 1 candle

power; a 60 W tungsten-filament incandescent light bulb has a luminous intensity of about

64 candela. A mole of a substance has a mass that is its

molecular mass expressed in units of grams; the mass of a mole of table salt is 58.4 g.

A temperature difference of one kelvin is the same as one degree Celsius: 1/100 of the

temperature differential between the freezing and boiling points of water at sea level;

the absolute temperature in kelvins is the temperature in degrees Celsius plus about

273; human body temperature is about 37 °C or 310 K.

A 60 W incandescent light bulb consumes 0.5 amperes at 120 V (US mains voltage) and about

0.26 amperes at 230 V (European mains voltage).==Lexicographic conventions=====

Unit names===The symbols for the SI units are intended

to be identical, regardless of the language used, but unit names are ordinary nouns and

use the character set and follow the grammatical rules of the language concerned. Names of

units follow the grammatical rules associated with common nouns: in English and in French

they start with a lowercase letter (e.g., newton, hertz, pascal), even when the symbol

for the unit begins with a capital letter. This also applies to “degrees Celsius”, since

“degree” is the unit. The official British and American spellings for certain SI units

differ – British English, as well as Australian, Canadian and New Zealand English, uses the

spelling deca-, metre, and litre whereas American English uses the spelling deka-, meter, and

liter, respectively.===Unit symbols and the values of quantities

===Although the writing of unit names is language-specific,

the writing of unit symbols and the values of quantities is consistent across all languages

and therefore the SI Brochure has specific rules in respect of writing them. The guideline

produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) clarifies language-specific

areas in respect of American English that were left open by the SI Brochure, but is

otherwise identical to the SI Brochure.====General rules====

General rules for writing SI units and quantities apply to text that is either handwritten or

produced using an automated process: The value of a quantity is written as a number

followed by a space (representing a multiplication sign) and a unit symbol; e.g., 2.21 kg, 7.3×102

m2, 22 K. This rule explicitly includes the percent sign (%) and the symbol for degrees

of temperature (°C). Exceptions are the symbols for plane angular degrees, minutes, and seconds

(°, ′, and ″), which are placed immediately after the number with no intervening space.

Symbols are mathematical entities, not abbreviations, and as such do not have an appended period/full

stop (.), unless the rules of grammar demand one for another reason, such as denoting the

end of a sentence. A prefix is part of the unit, and its symbol

is prepended to a unit symbol without a separator (e.g., k in km, M in MPa, G in GHz, μ in

μg). Compound prefixes are not allowed. A prefixed unit is atomic in expressions (e.g.,

km2 is equivalent to (km)2). Symbols for derived units formed by multiplication

are joined with a centre dot (⋅) or a non-breaking space; e.g., N⋅m or N m.

Symbols for derived units formed by division are joined with a solidus (/), or given as

a negative exponent. E.g., the “metre per second” can be written m/s, m s−1, m⋅s−1,

or m/s. A solidus must not be used more than once in a given expression without parentheses

to remove ambiguities; e.g., kg/(m⋅s2) and kg⋅m−1⋅s−2 are acceptable, but kg/m/s2

is ambiguous and unacceptable. The first letter of symbols for units derived

from the name of a person is written in upper case; otherwise, they are written in lower

case. E.g., the unit of pressure is named after Blaise Pascal, so its symbol is written

“Pa”, but the symbol for mole is written “mol”. Thus, “T” is the symbol for tesla, a measure

of magnetic field strength, and “t” the symbol for tonne, a measure of mass. Since 1979,

the litre may exceptionally be written using either an uppercase “L” or a lowercase “l”,

a decision prompted by the similarity of the lowercase letter “l” to the numeral “1”, especially

with certain typefaces or English-style handwriting. The American NIST recommends that within the

United States “L” be used rather than “l”. A plural of a symbol must not be used; e.g.,

25 kg, not 25 kgs. Uppercase and lowercase prefixes are not interchangeable.

E.g., the quantities 1 mW and 1 MW represent two different quantities (milliwatt and megawatt).

The symbol for the decimal marker is either a point or comma on the line. In practice,

the decimal point is used in most English-speaking countries and most of Asia, and the comma

in most of Latin America and in continental European countries.

Spaces should be used as a thousands separator (1000000) in contrast to commas or periods

(1,000,000 or 1.000.000) to reduce confusion resulting from the variation between these

forms in different countries. Any line-break inside a number, inside a compound

unit, or between number and unit should be avoided. Where this is not possible, line

breaks should coincide with thousands separators. Since the value of “billion” and “trillion”

can vary from language to language, the dimensionless terms “ppb” (parts per billion) and “ppt”

(parts per trillion) should be avoided. No alternative is suggested in the SI Brochure.====Printing SI symbols====

The rules covering printing of quantities and units are part of ISO 80000-1:2009.Further

rules are specified in respect of production of text using printing presses, word processors,

typewriters and the like.====Examples of the variety of symbols in

use around the world for kilometres per hour====The denominator “hour” (h) is often translated

to the country language: Countries with historical ties to the United

States often mix up the international “km/h” with the American “MPH”:==International System of Quantities==The quantities and equations that provide

the context in which the SI units are defined are now referred to as the International System

of Quantities (ISQ). The system is based on the quantities underlying

each of the seven base units of the SI. Other quantities, such as area, pressure, and electrical

resistance, are derived from these base quantities by clear non-contradictory equations. The

ISQ defines the quantities that are measured with the SI units. The ISQ is defined in the

international standard ISO/IEC 80000, and was finalised in 2009 with the publication

of ISO 80000-1.==Realisation of units==Metrologists carefully distinguish between

the definition of a unit and its realisation. The definition of each base unit of the SI

is drawn up so that it is unique and provides a sound theoretical basis on which the most

accurate and reproducible measurements can be made. The realisation of the definition

of a unit is the procedure by which the definition may be used to establish the value and associated

uncertainty of a quantity of the same kind as the unit. A description of the mise en

pratique of the base units is given in an electronic appendix to the SI Brochure.The

published mise en pratique is not the only way in which a base unit can be determined:

the SI Brochure states that “any method consistent with the laws of physics could be used to

realise any SI unit.” In the current (2016) exercise to overhaul the definitions of the

base units, various consultative committees of the CIPM have required that more than one

mise en pratique shall be developed for determining the value of each unit. In particular: At least three separate experiments be carried

out yielding values having a relative standard uncertainty in the determination of the kilogram

of no more than 5×10−8 and at least one of these values should be better than 2×10−8.

Both the Kibble balance and the Avogadro project should be included in the experiments and

any differences between these be reconciled. When the kelvin is being determined, the relative

uncertainty of the Boltzmann constant derived from two fundamentally different methods such

as acoustic gas thermometry and dielectric constant gas thermometry be better than one

part in 10−6 and that these values be corroborated by other measurements.==Evolution of the SI=====Changes to the SI===

The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) has described SI as “the modern metric

system”. Changing technology has led to an evolution of the definitions and standards

that has followed two principal strands – changes to SI itself, and clarification of how to

use units of measure that are not part of SI but are still nevertheless used on a worldwide

basis. Since 1960 the CGPM has made a number of changes

to the SI to meet the needs of specific fields, notably chemistry and radiometry. These are

mostly additions to the list of named derived units, and include the mole (symbol mol) for

an amount of substance, the pascal (symbol Pa) for pressure, the siemens (symbol S) for

electrical conductance, the becquerel (symbol Bq) for “activity referred to a radionuclide”,

the gray (symbol Gy) for ionising radiation, the sievert (symbol Sv) as the unit of dose

equivalent radiation, and the katal (symbol kat) for catalytic activity.Acknowledging

the advancement of precision science at both large and small scales, the range of defined

prefixes pico- (10−12) to tera- (1012) was extended to 10−24 to 1024.The 1960 definition

of the standard metre in terms of wavelengths of a specific emission of the krypton 86 atom

was replaced with the distance that light travels in a vacuum in exactly 1/299792458

second, so that the speed of light is now an exactly specified constant of nature.

A few changes to notation conventions have also been made to alleviate lexicographic

ambiguities. An analysis under the aegis of CSIRO, published in 2009 by the Royal Society,

has pointed out the opportunities to finish the realisation of that goal, to the point

of universal zero-ambiguity machine readability.===2019 redefinitions===After the metre was redefined in 1960, the

kilogram remained the only SI base unit directly based on a specific physical artefact, the

international prototype of the kilogram (IPK), for its definition and thus the only unit

that was still subject to periodic comparisons of national standard kilograms with the IPK.

During the 2nd and 3rd Periodic Verification of National Prototypes of the Kilogram, a

significant divergence had occurred between the mass of the IPK and all of its official

copies stored around the world: the copies had all noticeably increased in mass with

respect to the IPK. During extraordinary verifications carried out in 2014 preparatory to redefinition

of metric standards, continuing divergence was not confirmed. Nonetheless, the residual

and irreducible instability of a physical IPK undermined the reliability of the entire

metric system to precision measurement from small (atomic) to large (astrophysical) scales.

A proposal was made that: In addition to the speed of light, four constants

of nature – the Planck constant, an elementary charge, the Boltzmann constant and the Avogadro

number – be defined to have exact values The International Prototype Kilogram be retired

The current definitions of the kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole be revised

The wording of base unit definitions should change emphasis from explicit unit to explicit

constant definitions.The redefinitions were adopted at the 26th CGPM in November 2018,

and will come into effect in May 2019. The CODATA task group on fundamental constants

has announced special submission deadlines for data to compute the values that will be

announced at this event.==History=====

The improvisation of units===The units and unit magnitudes of the metric

system which became the SI were improvised piecemeal from everyday physical quantities

starting in the mid-18th century. Only later were they moulded into an orthogonal coherent

decimal system of measurement. The degree centigrade as a unit of temperature

resulted from the scale devised by Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius in 1742. His scale

counter-intuitively designated 100 as the freezing point of water and 0 as the boiling

point. Independently, in 1743, the French physicist Jean-Pierre Christin described a

scale with 0 as the freezing point of water and 100 the boiling point. The scale became

known as the centi-grade, or 100 gradations of temperature, scale.

The metric system was developed from 1791 onwards by a committee of the French Academy

of Sciences, commissioned to create a unified and rational system of measures. The group,

which included preeminent French men of science, used the same principles for relating length,

volume, and mass that had been proposed by the English clergyman John Wilkins in 1668

and the concept of using the Earth’s meridian as the basis of the definition of length,

originally proposed in 1670 by the French abbot Mouton. In March 1791, the Assembly adopted the committee’s

proposed principles for the new decimal system of measure including the metre defined to

be 1/10,000,000th of the length of the quadrant of earth’s meridian passing through Paris,

and authorised a survey to precisely establish the length of the meridian. In July 1792,

the committee proposed the names metre, are, litre and grave for the units of length, area,

capacity, and mass, respectively. The committee also proposed that multiples and submultiples

of these units were to be denoted by decimal-based prefixes such as centi for a hundredth and

kilo for a thousand. Later, during the process of adoption of the

metric system, the Latin gramme and kilogramme, replaced the former provincial terms gravet

(1/1000 grave) and grave. In June 1799, based on the results of the meridian survey, the

standard mètre des Archives and kilogramme des Archives were deposited in the French

National Archives. Subsequently, that year, the metric system was adopted by law in France.

The French system was short-lived due to its unpopularity. Napoleon ridiculed it, and in

1812, introduced a replacement system, the mesures usuelles or “customary measures” which

restored many of the old units, but redefined in terms of the metric system.

During the first half of the 19th century there was little consistency in the choice

of preferred multiples of the base units: typically the myriametre (10000 metres) was

in widespread use in both France and parts of Germany, while the kilogram (1000 grams)

rather than the myriagram was used for mass.In 1832, the German mathematician Carl Friedrich

Gauss, assisted by Wilhelm Weber, implicitly defined the second as a base unit when he

quoted the Earth’s magnetic field in terms of millimetres, grams, and seconds. Prior

to this, the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field had only been described in relative

terms. The technique used by Gauss was to equate the torque induced on a suspended magnet

of known mass by the Earth’s magnetic field with the torque induced on an equivalent system

under gravity. The resultant calculations enabled him to assign dimensions based on

mass, length and time to the magnetic field.A candlepower as a unit of illuminance was originally

defined by an 1860 English law as the light produced by a pure spermaceti candle weighing

1⁄6 pound (76 grams) and burning at a specified rate. Spermaceti, a waxy substance

found in the heads of sperm whales, was once used to make high-quality candles. At this

time the French standard of light was based upon the illumination from a Carcel oil lamp.

The unit was defined as that illumination emanating from a lamp burning pure rapeseed

oil at a defined rate. It was accepted that ten standard candles were about equal to one

Carcel lamp.===Metre Convention===A French-inspired initiative for international

cooperation in metrology led to the signing in 1875 of the Metre Convention, also called

Treaty of the Metre, by 17 nations. Initially the convention only covered standards for

the metre and the kilogram. In 1921, the Metre Convention was extended to include all physical

units, including the ampere and others thereby enabling the CGPM to address inconsistencies

in the way that the metric system had been used.A set of 30 prototypes of the metre and

40 prototypes of the kilogram, in each case made of a 90% platinum-10% iridium alloy,

were manufactured by British metallurgy specialty firm and accepted by the CGPM in 1889. One

of each was selected at random to become the International prototype metre and International

prototype kilogram that replaced the mètre des Archives and kilogramme des Archives respectively.

Each member state was entitled to one of each of the remaining prototypes to serve as the

national prototype for that country.The treaty also established a number of international

organisations to oversee the keeping of international standards of measurement:===The cgs and MKS systems===In the 1860s, James Clerk Maxwell, William

Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) and others working under the auspices of the British Association

for the Advancement of Science, built on Gauss’ work and formalised the concept of a coherent

system of units with base units and derived units christened the centimetre–gram–second

system of units in 1874. The principle of coherence was successfully used to define

a number of units of measure based on the CGS, including the erg for energy, the dyne

for force, the barye for pressure, the poise for dynamic viscosity and the stokes for kinematic

viscosity.In 1879, the CIPM published recommendations for writing the symbols for length, area,

volume and mass, but it was outside its domain to publish recommendations for other quantities.

Beginning in about 1900, physicists who had been using the symbol “μ” (mu) for “micrometre”

or “micron”, “λ” (lambda) for “microlitre”, and “γ” (gamma) for “microgram” started to

use the symbols “μm”, “μL” and “μg”.At the close of the 19th century three different

systems of units of measure existed for electrical measurements: a CGS-based system for electrostatic

units, also known as the Gaussian or ESU system, a CGS-based system for electromechanical units

(EMU) and an International system based on units defined by the Metre Convention. for

electrical distribution systems. Attempts to resolve the electrical units in

terms of length, mass, and time using dimensional analysis was beset with difficulties—the

dimensions depended on whether one used the ESU or EMU systems. This anomaly was resolved

in 1901 when Giovanni Giorgi published a paper in which he advocated using a fourth base

unit alongside the existing three base units. The fourth unit could be chosen to be electric

current, voltage, or electrical resistance. Electric current with named unit ‘ampere’

was chosen as the base unit, and the other electrical quantities derived from it according

to the laws of physics. This became the foundation of the MKS system of units.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of non-coherent units of measure

based on the gram/kilogram, centimetre/metre and second, such as the Pferdestärke (metric

horsepower) for power, the darcy for permeability and “millimetres of mercury” for barometric

and blood pressure were developed or propagated, some of which incorporated standard gravity

in their definitions.At the end of the Second World War, a number of different systems of

measurement were in use throughout the world. Some of these systems were metric system variations;

others were based on customary systems of measure, like the U.S customary system and

Imperial system of the UK and British Empire.===The Practical system of units===

In 1948, the 9th CGPM commissioned a study to assess the measurement needs of the scientific,

technical, and educational communities and “to make recommendations for a single practical

system of units of measurement, suitable for adoption by all countries adhering to the

Metre Convention”. This working document was Practical system of units of measurement.

Based on this study, the 10th CGPM in 1954 defined an international system derived from

six base units including units of temperature and optical radiation in addition to those

for the MKS system mass, length, and time units and Giorgi’s current unit. Six base

units were recommended: the metre, kilogram, second, ampere, degree Kelvin, and candela.

The 9th CGPM also approved the first formal recommendation for the writing of symbols

in the metric system when the basis of the rules as they are now known was laid down.

These rules were subsequently extended and now cover unit symbols and names, prefix symbols

and names, how quantity symbols should be written and used and how the values of quantities

should be expressed.===Birth of the SI===In 1960, the 11th CGPM synthesised the results

of the 12-year study into a set of 16 resolutions. The system was named the International System

of Units, abbreviated SI from the French name, Le Système International d’Unités.==See also====Notes