### Prefixes

Base units in the Metric System can be converted into units that are more appropriate for the quantity being measured by adding a prefix to the name of the base unit. The common metric prefixes are given below.

Prefixes are used to help in the description of a quantity of substance along with its units. For example, if there is 0.0000000005 L of water then it would be a lot easier to write it as 500 picoliters (pL) of water. Prefixes therefore remove the cumbersome task of writing data to several decimal places.

A list of prefixes are shown below:

Prefix | Symbol | Value | Description |

pico | p | 10^{-12} |
1 picoliter, (pL) = 0.000000000001L |

nano | n | 10^{-9} |
1 nanogram, (ng) = 0.0000000001g |

micro | µ or u | 10^{-6} |
1 micrometer (µm) = 0.000001 m |

milli | m | 10^{-3} |
1 milliliter (mL) = 0.001 L |

centi | c | 10^{-2} |
1 centimeter (cm) = 0.01 m |

deci | d | 10^{-1} |
1 decigram (dg) = 0.1 g |

kilo | K | 10 ^{3} |
1 kilogram (Kg) = 1000 g |

mega | M | 10 ^{6} |
1 megagram (Mg) = 1,000,000 g |

The base units of length and volume are linked in the metric system. By definition, a liter is equal to the volume of a cube exactly 10 cm tall, 10 cm long and 10 cm wide. Because the volume of this cube is 1000 cubic centimeters and a liter contains 1000 milliliters, 1 milliliter is equivalent to 1 cubic centimeter.

1 mL = 1cm^{3}

1×10^{6} cm^{3} = 1m^{3}

1000 cm^{3} = 1L