An Educational Overview Front

SI – An Educational Overview for Americans

2.25 out of 5 based on 4 customer ratings
(4 customer reviews)


SKU: MP05001

Product Description

An Educational Overview for Americans explains (with plenty of pictures) the basics of the International System of Units. Book Size: A4; 27 pages (31 pages including title page, et cetera). Download your copy today. Available in Portable Document Format (*.pdf). SI An Educational Overview for Americans 2014

Read a couple of page previews here:

Page 3 preview . . . The use of two different systems was the root cause in the loss of the $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter. NASA specified metric units in the contract. NASA and other organizations worked in metric units, but one subcontractor, Lockheed Martin, provided thruster performance data to the team in pound force seconds instead of newton seconds. The spacecraft was intended to orbit Mars at about 150 kilometers altitude, but the incorrect data meant that it probably descended instead to about 57 kilometers, burning up in the thin Martian atmosphere.

Page 13 preview . . . The millimeter is a practical unit of length for many everyday measurements including level of rainfall, paper and camera film. The most common paper size is A4 (297 x 210 mm); 35 mm film is common.
Tardigrades (commonly known as waterbears or moss piglets) are small, water-dwelling, segmented animals with eight legs. They form the phylum Tardigrada, part of the superphylum Ecdysozoa. The first tardigrades were discovered by Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773. Since 1778, over 500 new tardigrade species have been found. Usually, Tardigrades are 1 mm when they are full grown. They are short and plump with 4 pairs of poorly articulated lobopodial limbs. Each limb has 4 to 8 claws also known as disks. Tardigrades all possess a buccopharyngeal membrane apparatus, which, along with the claws, are used to differentiate the different species. Tardigrades are covered in cuticle which contains chitin and protein.
Tardigrades were first discovered in 1773 by Johann August Ephraim Goeze, who called them kleiner Wasserbär, meaning little water bear in German. The name Tardigrada means slow walker and was given by Lazzaro Spallanzani in 1777.
The name water bear comes from the bearlike way they walk. The biggest adults may reach a body length of 1.5 mm; the smallest below 0.1 mm; freshly hatched tardigrades may be smaller than 0.05 mm.
About 1,150 species of tardigrades have been described. Tardigrades occur throughout the world from the Himalayas above 6,000 meters to deep sea below 4,000 meters and from polar regions to equator.
The most convenient place to find tardigrades is on lichens and mosses. Other environments are dunes, beaches, soil, and marine or freshwater sediments, where they may occur quite frequently (up to 25,000 animals per liter). Tardigrades often can be found by soaking a piece of moss in spring water.
Tardigrades are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures of close to absolute zero, or 0 Kelvin (-273 °C), temperatures as high as 151 °C, 1,000 times more radiation than other animals, and almost a decade without water. Since 2007, tardigrades have also returned alive from studies in which they have been exposed to the vacuum of space for a few days in low Earth orbit. Tardigrades are the first known animal to survive in space.

4 reviews for SI – An Educational Overview for Americans

  1. Profile photo of
    3 out of 5


    2014 April 3
    Review of “SI An Educational Overview for Americans”
    from Metricpioneer
    review by Robert H. Bushnell
    member USMA

    This is a short book about the International System SI in the US.
    It is uneven in its discussion but overall it is a good read.

    A reason to change, not mentioned, is that the use of two sets
    of units is expensive. It has been said that the cost to the US
    GDP is near one trillion dollars per year. Now, this is big
    money. Congress has so far not responded to this loss.

    The book lists all the prefixes. The prefixes are an important
    feature of SI. However most of the prefixes are not used. The
    text does not tell which are found in general use in the US or
    even in the world. The origins of the prefixes are given. This
    is a good addition to the SI literature.

    In the discussion of each prefix the word “abbreviated” is used.
    The symbols for the units and prefixes are not abbreviations,
    they are symbols.

    An especially good feature of this book is that there is little
    mention of inch-pound units (or whatever name you want for the
    so-called customary units used in the US).

    It has no index so it can not be easily used as a reference.

    On page 5 the unit of measure for the maths list is not given. This
    is obviously taken from a foreign reference.

    The book sticks with the word “quantity” for the several properties
    that are measured in this world. This awkward use of “quantity” is
    taken from the CGPM documents so it is hard to avoid. To new
    readers about SI, quantity means “how much.” An introduction to
    this use and meaning of the word Quantity would be helpful.

    The chapter on Meter starts with “a unit of proper length.” What
    is a “proper” length? For an overview it would be better to leave
    out the word “proper.”

    The base unit of volume is the cubic meter. The chapter on Liter
    does not say this. Further, liter is a derived unit. And, those of
    us who are picky picky about use of SI see “1 cubic decimeter” in
    line 6. With spelled-out units, numbers are to be spelled out so it
    should say “one cubic decimeter.”

    Many readers would like to see units for energy. There is no
    mention of energy. The derived units for volume and speed are
    discussed so why not other derived units like energy and power?
    In fact, because the words energy and power are often misused
    and confused in the press and TV, their not being here is a big

    Let us hope that this short book gets a good reception.

  2. Profile photo of David Pearl
    4 out of 5


    I did make corrections to the book by changing all “abbreviation” references to symbol in response to Mr Bushnell. – David Pearl (book author)

  3. Profile photo of
    1 out of 5


    There seems to be a problem with the star rating because I couldn’t change it. But anyway, would it not be better to separate always thousands with a space instead of a comma? Though except when there are only 4 digits before or after the decimal point, which is the ISO way. Also, I have noticed that you prefer the day-month-year date format, why is that? Because the ISO format is year-month-day. By the way, you unnecessarily capitalized “kilograms” in page 18, and “kelvin” in page 13. But overall it is an informative read.

  4. Profile photo of David Pearl
    1 out of 5


    Braulio. Thanks for your very helpful review. I informed my web administrator about the problem with the star rating function. He will look into it. Hopefully that will be fixed soon. I do not separate thousands with spaces, but with commas, because that is how Americans render numbers. This book is for Americans, who already think metric is being pushed upon them, so pushing a change in how we render numbers would no doubt push them even further away. My United States passport employs the d Mmm yyyy (day month year) date format. I prefer this date format because spelling out the first three letters of the month removes any ambiguity. Potential errors happen when using only numbers because month and day can get mixed up. The d Mmm yyyy order is rapidly increasing in usage, especially in the early 1980s. Many genealogical databases and the Modern Language Association style use this format. I have corrected the unnecessarily capitalized kilograms on page 18 and kelvin on page 13 because you are right about that. Thanks for the constructive criticism. I uploaded the corrected version, but you may have to refresh if you do not see the two corrections.

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