The American Conversion to the Metric System

4letter_wordsAccording to worldknowing.com, the United States of America is the leader in scientific advancement and is also currently the most scientifically advanced nation in the world. Yet, the U.S. is one of three countries who utilise the English System of Measurement (also known as the Imperial System of Measurement). In order to continue to be the world leader in scientific advancement, and to include laymen Americans in the understanding of science, the United States of America should standardize the U.S. measurement system with the Metric System.

Firstly, the creator of the English System of Measurement, England, rejected the English System, currently in place, and changed to the Metric System just over 50 years ago. The creators of the system realised that their measurement system is less logical than the metric system. For example, the measurement of a yard is the distance from a person’s nose to the tip of their outstretched hand. Obviously, different people would measure this length differently because the distance between their outstretched hand and their nose would be dependent on a number of factors, mainly their height and length of their arm. Even though this is not a problem today because of standardized units, the basis of the system is not logical, and illogicalness has no place in science.

Secondly, conversion factors are more difficult than need be. To convert from yards to feet, one divides by 3. To convert feet to inches, one must divide by 12. From inches, to what are known as sixteenths, one must divide by 16. These numbers are all different, all illogical, and are difficult to convert between. The metric system is based on multiples of tens, so conversion between a meter and a centimeter is easier than from a yard to an inch.

Lastly, the U.S. is one of three countries that still use the Imperial System. The rest of the developing scientific countries just behind the U.S., Japan, Germany, and South Korea, all use the metric system. In order to communicate with the rest of the scientific community internationally, it would make the process exceptionally easier. According to NASA.gov in Tokyo Disneyland’s Space Mountain monorail, an axle broke, causing the monorail car to derail. This was due to a conversion error from the Imperial System to the metric system. However, if the United States were in common with the other countries using the metric system, these sorts of tragedies would not occur.

The imperial system of measurement has reigned for too long in the United States and it is time to join the rest of the world in using the metric system with using the metric system of measurement. It is the obvious choice and would facilitate communication within the scientific community and with the public.

 

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