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# A. Answer the following questions according to the text

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International System of Units

International system of unit is the name adopted by the Eleventh General Conference on Weights and Measures, held in Paris in 1960, for a universal, unified, self-consistent system of measurement units based on the MKS (meter-kilogram-second) system. The international system is commonly referred to throughout the world as SI, after the initials of Systems International. The Metric Conversion Act of 1975 commits the United States to the increasing use of, and voluntary conversion to, the metric system of measurement, further defining

metric system as the International System of Units as interpreted or modified for the United States by the secretary of commerce.

At the 1960 conference, standards were defined for six base units and for two supplementary units; a seventh base unit, the mole, was added in 1971. The names of these units are exactly the same in all languages.

In the metric system, the main unit of distance is the meter. Other units of distance are always obtained by multiplying the meter by 10 or a multiply of 10. Thanks to our system of writing numbers, this means that conversion of one unit to another within the metric system can be carried out by shifts of a decimal point.

There are several standard units of length in use today such as meter, inch, foot, mile and centimeter. The meter was originally defined in terms of the distance from the North Pole to the equator; this distance is closed to 10,000 kilometers or 107 meters. The standard meter of the world is the distance between two scratches on a platinum- alloy bar which is kept at the International Bureau of Weight and Measures in France. However, there is a unit of length in Nature which is much more accurate than the distance between two scratches on a piece of metal. This is wavelength of light from any sharp spectral line. The standard meter in France has been calibrated in terms of the number of wavelengths of light of a certain spectral line.

a. Answer the following questions according to the text

1. What was the aim of the 11th General Conference on Weight and Measurement, held in Paris in 1960?

2. How many units were defined at the conference?

3. Can you show the convenience of unit conversion within the metric system?

4. What was the meter originally taken?

5. How many standards to which the meter has been compared? What are they?

b. Complete each of the following statements with words/ phrases from the text

1. The international ………………………….……. is commonly referred to throughout the world as SI.

2. The Metric Conversion Act of 1975 ………………………….……. the United States to the increasing use of the metric system of measurement.

3. At the 1960 conference, standards were defined for six base units and for two ………………………. units.

4. In the metric system, the main unit of ……………………………………………. is the meter.

5. Other units of distance are always obtained by ……………………………………….……. the meter by 10.

6. There are several standard units of length ………………………………………………..………. use today.

7. The meter was ………………………. defined in terms of the distance from the North Pole to the equator.

8. This is ……………………………………..….of light from any sharp spectral line.

9. The standard meter in France has been ……………. in terms of the number of wavelengths of light of a certain …………………………………….………. line.

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