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Units of Measure

Phil B. Fontanarosa

and Stacy Christiansen

Prefixes are combined with base units and derived units to form multiples of SI units. The factors designated by prefixes are powers of 10, and most prefixes involve exponents that are simple multiples of 3, thereby facilitating conversion procedures using successive multiplications by 103 or 10−3. Compound prefixes formed by the combination of 2 or more SI prefixes generally are not used. It is preferable to use an expression with a single prefix. The kilogram is the only SI base unit with a prefix as part of its name and symbol (kg). However, because compound prefixes are not recommended, prefixes

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