The SI Comments and SI Charts here were written by the late Theodore Wildi. These excellent resources have been provided for us to mirror on our website with the kind permission of his heirs. We worked with Ted Wildi for several years and we are most grateful for this kindness.
These charts show conversion pathways among related SI and non-SI units, making the process of conversion a bit more obvous. CAVEAT!: The process of conversion of values from one unit to another is fraut with risks. Merely using a calculator to carry this out quite often results in experiencing misleading results. This is an area in which consultation by Metric Methods is especially worth while. Metric Methods disclaims any damage you may incur by inappropriate use of these charts, especially for medical or engineering work. These charts are meant solely to provide an overview of the process. The copyrights for these SI Charts remain with the heirs of Theodore Wildi and the charts are provided here with their kind permission. Click on the heading above.
Ted Wildi was at once a brilliant engineer capable of grasping solutions to complex engineering problems and a teacher who could explain physical and engineering concepts to people with little or no math background. He wrote 28 "SI Comments" and provided them on his web page in a rotating manner, with each one appearing for two weeks. In keeping with that tradition, those SI Comments will likewise be presented here on a rotating basis. The copyrights for these SI Comments remain with the heirs of Theodore Wildi and the comments are provided here with their kind permission. Click on the heading above to see the SI Comment currently being displayed..
The International System of units, which has the symbol SI (no periods!) is designed to transcend language and national barriers. The definitions are such that any country in the world can use them to regulate the use of the SI within their own borders. The numerical portion of all values are given in universally understood Arabic numerals. And the unit and prefix symbols are likewise universal and incorporated into any language. However, the names of the units and prefixes follow each individual language's rules on spelling, punctuation, and grammar (e.g., gender). This is easily shown on a chart for three important SI units.
For universal understanding, English speakers should write "5 m" instead of "5 meters" or "five meters". The latter two examples are less understandable by speakers of other languages than "5 m" is. English style guides and English usage guides are proving to be slow in coming to this newer way of thinking. Someday you may be faced with the situation of seeing this universal practice ignored in other languages. Here, then, are several pages showing the SI in languages other than English. Select one of the following languages.
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