# Science Measurements in the US

Hi, just an ignorant Brit here.

Just curious after watching my daughter do some science homework to do with velocities and stuff.

when you do this in the US do you use metric or imperial measurements?

just wondering
Steve

We use metric units in the scientific community.

The rest of time, we use the U.S. unit.

The other big time we use metric units is in school, which seems to switch back and forth more often than not. I think that they do that because sometimes the schools are trying to be scientifically accurate (and using metric) and sometimes the schools are trying to make us understand the concept, where we use U.S. units, which everyone is familiar with.

TL;DR: It’s complicated.

I sincerely hope that helped, rather than made you more confused lol

thanks for the reply, for my daughters homework they like doing things like giving a in cm but wanting an answer in meters per second, which is pretty simple as long as you spot it… and was telling her how lucky she wasn’t trying to do this 50 or so years ago and having to convert inches to yards and then wondered if that problem still existed in America.
anyway thanks again
Steve

Same applies as above, especially with m/s .

I’ve only ever seen it used in school (including km/h).

A couple of years ago, I was Laid Off from work, so I went back to College to work on getting an Electrical Engineering degree…

So, for another View on Metric verses Imperial measurements… U.S.A. centric view…

Consumer Items in Stores are labeled with both Imperial and Metric, most likely items are Dual Labeled because of the Rest of The World using Metric… ( There is a difference between the Imperial Gallon and the U.S. Gallon, which I have only seen the U.S. Gallon used for Consumer Items )

On just about any given day, in a given store, you can buy Soda Pop ( Soft Drinks ) in an Aluminum Can in the sizes of 8 Ounces, 12 Ounces, or 24 Ounces, or in Plastic Bottles in the sizes of 20 Ounces, 24 Ounces, 1 Liter, 2 Liters or even 3 Liters. 12 Ounce Aluminum Cans, 20 Ounce, 1 Liter, and 2 Liters Plastic Bottles are the most common.

Some Items originated in Ounces, and are labeled with the equivalent Metric value, some originated in Metric, and are labeled with the equivalent Imperial value. My 12 Ounces of Pepsi can, has 355 Milliliters in parenthesis. I have seen other drinks that are 250 Milliliters, and 8.5 Ounces.

In my College Science Classes, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, everything is done in Metric.

In my College Engineering Classes, everything is done in Both Metric and Imperial. The explanation was given in my Engineering Orentation class, and I have forgotten for the moment exactly why, but I believe it is related to Mass ( Something that Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers are greatly concerned about ), therefor both systems are used, where appropriate.

To an Engineer, Conversion is Conversion, from Inches to Centimeters ( 1:2.54 ), which is an Exact Conversion… to Inches to Feet ( 12:1 ), which is also an Exact Conversion, to Inches to Yards ( 36:1 ), Ditto or Feet to Yards ( 3:1 ), Ditto, Ditto.

OK, Update…

For Consumer Items, I have just seen at Walgreens, 1.5 Liter Plastic bottles of Pepsi Products…

Haha, in summary, don’t bother with trying to figure out when we use Metric and when we use US customary.

I can remember in the 1970’s when the U.S. Government was trying to switch to the Metric System… It just never seem to happen…

I guess with all the mixed labeling, it will reach a point where everyone is ready to switch, or, maybe it will never happen…

You will know your in the U.S., because everything is labeled with Both Systems…