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This handy conversion calculator includes most common (and uncommon) distance/length terms, including those not found on SDS's. The definition of each term can be found below under Additional Information.
Many of the items you will find on an SDS come in both English (U.S. Customary System) and metric (International System or SI or cgs) units. The metric system has been adopted by almost every country except the United States. Even in the U.S., scientists and technical people use the metric system because of its ease of use.
|Unit||Equivalent measurements, comments|
|There are 12 inches in a foot and 36 inches in a yard. 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.|
|There are 12 inches in a foot and 3 feet in a yard. One foot = 30.48 centimeters = 0.3048 meters.|
|There are 3 feet = 36 inches in a yard. A yard is roughly equivalent to a meter: one yard = 0.9144 meters.|
|There are 6 feet = 2 yards in a fathom. Used almost exclusively as a nautical term for ocean depth at the average lowest tide.|
|Generally obsolete. A unit of length equal to 16.5 feet.|
|Traditionally used only in horse racing. A unit of length equal to 660 feet = 201.168 meters. There are 8 furlongs in a mile.|
|There are 5,280 feet in a mile, also called a statute, survey, international or land mile. One mile = 1.609344 kilometers = 1,609.344 meters. Caution: The nautical mile is 1.151 statute miles = 1.852 kilometers.|
|Also called the international nautical mile; do not confuse with international mile. There are 6,076.1155 feet in a nautical mile. 1 nautical mile = 1.15078 statute miles = 1.852 kilometers = 1,852 meters.|
|Generally obsolete. There are 3 statute miles in one league, however there are many different definitions that vary from ~2.4 to 4.6 miles per league depending on the period in history and country. A marine league is 3 nautical miles.|
|The prefix "pico" means 1 x 10-12, so one picometer = 0.000000000001 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 1,000,000,000,000 picometers. The bond distances between atoms are generally in the range of 100 to 300 pm.|
|An Angstrom = 1 x 10-10 meters. 1 Angstrom = 100 pm = 0.1 nm. The bond distances between atoms are generally in the range of 1 to 3 Angstroms.|
|The prefix "nano" means 1 x 10-9, so one nanometer = 0.000000001 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 1,000,000,000 nanometers. Visible light contains wavelengths from roughly 300 to 800 nm. To convert this wavelength to energy, see the energy unit conversion page.|
|Also known a micron. The prefix "micro" means 1 x 10-6, so one micrometer = 0.000001 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 1,000,000 micrometers. 1 micrometer = 10,000 Angstroms = 0.001 millimeters = 0.0000394 inches. Human hair is roughly 50 microns in diameter.|
|The prefix "milli" means 1/1000, so one millimeter = 0.001 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 1000 millimeters. 1 millimeter = 0.1 cm = 0.0394 inches.|
|The prefix "centi" means 1/100, so one centimeter = 0.01 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 100 cm. 1 cm = 10 mm = 0.3937 inches.|
|Currently defined as the length of 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of the orange-red radiation of 86Kr in a vacuum, one meter contains 100 cm = 1000 mm. There are 1000 m in a kilometer. One meter = 39.37 inches = 3.28 feet = 1.09 yards.|
|The prefix "kilo" means 1000, so one kilometer = 1,000 meters. 1 kilometer = 3,280.84 feet = 1,093.6 yards = 0.6214 miles.|
|An astronomical unit is defined as the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun. 1 au = 149,597,870 kilometers = approximately 92.95 million miles.|
|A unit of distance that would be traversed in a period of one year by an object moving at the speed of light in a vacuum (300,000,000 meters per second). One light year = 63,239.7 astronomical units = 0.3066 parsecs = 5.88 x 1012 miles. The nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years from ours.|
|A unit of distance equal to the distance from the sun to a point having a heliocentric (sun-centered) parallax of one second (second as an angle, not a time unit). 1 parsec = 3.26164 light years. If you find this term on an MSDS, you really aren't from around here, are you?|
Convert 3 inches to miles:
Convert 4 miles to kilometers:
Convert 0.25 inches to picometers:
Be very careful to note the units when reading numbers on an SDS. If you ever perform a calculation of any sort, always remember to write the units next to each number in your calculation and make sure that they cancel properly. This unit canceling procedure is shown above.
See also: area units, energy units, mass units, mole, pressure units, temperature units, volume units.
Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.
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