 Resource Lesson Metric Units of Measurement
Given in the table below are the fundamental units of measure for the Systeme Internationale - or the MKS metric system. Also shown is a second popular collection of units is called the CGS system.

 SI fundamental units Quantity Name MKS Unit CGS Unit length meter m cm mass kilogram kg g time second s s electric current ampere A temperature kelvin K amount of substance mole mol luminous intensity candela cd

These are the basic units from which all other metric units of measure are derived. For example:

Speed is a derived quantity that expresses how rapidly an object travels a given distance with respect to time. It is measured in m/sec.

(scalar) quantity: speed
(formula) variable: r
units of measure: m/sec

Presented below are the most common derived units from mechanics. This link will take you to a more complete summary of the formulas and units of measure used in standard introductory physics courses.

 name vector/scalar variable common formula unit of measure relationships length scalar L m 1 m = 100 cm height scalar h m area scalar A A = L•w m2 1 m2 = (100 cm)2 volume scalar V V = L•w•h m3 1 m3 = (100 cm)3 mass scalar m or M kg 1 kg = 1000 g density scalar D D = M / V kg/m3 1 kg/m3 = 10-3 g/cm3 distance scalar d m displacement vector s m time scalar t sec speed scalar r r = d / t m/sec velocity vector v v = s / t m/sec momentum vector p p = mv kg m/sec acceleration vector a a = Δv /Δt m/sec/sec m/sec2 gravity vector g g = GME/RE2 m/sec2 9.8 m/sec2 force vector F F = ma MKS: kg(m/sec2) nt, N (newton) CGS: g(cm/sec2) dyne1 N = 105 dynes tension vector T nt strings, wires spring constant scalar k F = ks nt/m impulse vector J J = Δp = Ft kg m/sec nt sec pressure vector P P = F / A nt/m2 Pa (Pascal) work scalar W W = Fs MKS: kg(m2/sec2) nt m = J (Joule) CGS: g(cm2/sec2) erg1 J = 107 ergs energy scalar E W = ΔE kg(m2/sec2) nt m = J (Joule) gravitational potential energy PEg = mgh elastic potential energy PEe = ½ks2 kinetic energy KE = ½mv2 power scalar P P = W / t watt = J / sec frequency scalar f f = #events / t 1/sec hz (hertz) period scalar T T = 1 / f sec angle scalar θ ° or radians 90° = π/2 rads torque vector τ τ = FL⊥ m nt temperature scalar T K or °C 0 K = -273°C