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In the 18th century, the mathematical world was in a state of complete turmoil; for there was no standard of measuring common everyday items. For example, when measuring length, one would have to choose from feet, inches, miles, spans, cubits, hands, furlongs, palms, rods, chains, leagues, and more. This lack of a standard unit created confusion and loss of production during trade. At the end of the century, France sought to eradicate this problem with a simple and universal unit of measurement. In 1790, the French National Assembly commissioned the Academy of Science to design a simple decimal-based system of units; the system they devised is known as the Metric System. The convenience of the Metric System of Measurements stems from the fact that for each form of measurement (length, mass, volume) there is only on base unit for each, and each base unit is based on the power of ten. The three most common base units are the meter, gram, and liter. The meter (m) is the unit of length; the gram (g) is the unit of mass; the liter (l) is the unit of volume. These base units are used when measuring any object; the meter will be used weather one is measuring the length of a pencil or the length from Spain to Germany. This might sound completely preposterous; but in the metric system uses method of prefixes to change the size of the single base unit. These prefixes are kilo (1,000), hecto (100), deca (10), deci (0.1), centi (0.01), and milli (0.001). Along with the three most common base units there are three more, less common, but equally important measurements. These measurements are weight, which is measured by the gram; temperature, which is measured by Celsius; Newton which is the measurement of force, which is measured bykg 〖m/s〗^2. When one is making accurate measurements, one must use some sort of tool. This also applies for the Metric System of

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## United States Penny

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## Determining Percent Copper and Zinc in Pennies from Density

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