Is America Actually Metric?

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Veritasium

3 år sedan

The US signed the metre convention and bases all customary units on SI standards. As an aside, the Utah constitution from 1895 required the metric system to be taught in schools. This requirement was repealed in 1987. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Huge thanks to NIST, Ben Stein and Patrick Abbott.
www.nist.gov/
www.nist.gov/pml/weights-and-measures/si-units-mass
Special thanks to Patreon Supporters:
Tony Fadell, Donal Botkin, Jeff Straathof, Zach Mueller, Ron Neal, Nathan Hansen
Back in 1875 The US signed the Metre Convention, which basically committed the country to use the metric system. In return, French scientists sent two platinum-iridium cylinders that weigh 1kg to the US in 1889 (known by their designations K4 and K20 from a set of 40 identical objects that were produced and sent around the world). So even though everything you see and buy in the US is usually reported in pounds, all weights are traceable back to the K20 kilogram (by applying a conversion factor to get to pounds).
When I was in DC a few weeks ago, I visited the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and got up close with K20, which is still kept there and used to calibrate all mass standards in this country. I thought it was pretty cool.
Edited by Bill Connor

Kommentarer
El Burrito
El Burrito 17 timmar sedan
but... steel is heavier than feathers?
Bala314
Bala314 2 dagar sedan
4:31 THOSE ARE THE WRONG VALUES!!!!!!!
Jon
Jon 10 dagar sedan
I think therefore I am. I define therefore it is. We agree therefore we... have a baseline, order, procedure, consistency. We have consistency therefore we advance, understand, formulate, create, and enjoy!
Ian Smith
Ian Smith 11 dagar sedan
I like how he paused before entering the last 0 so he could pretend the pin wasn't 1000
Noureddine Sellama
Noureddine Sellama 12 dagar sedan
Thank you very much for all that my brother has presented, and I congratulate you on your wonderful channel, and I hope that all your upcoming videos will be translated into Arabic, please
Rob L
Rob L 13 dagar sedan
USA Crazy? Surely not! ;)
Rox
Rox 16 dagar sedan
Ametrica
kleines Filmröllchen
kleines Filmröllchen 18 dagar sedan
Humanity: Where people carry around the definition of a standard of measurement in a camera bag.
Bernardus Muller
Bernardus Muller 21 dag sedan
How would you tell an alien how much a kilogram is?
Quân Vũ Anh
Quân Vũ Anh 4 dagar sedan
a kilogram is now defined by a constant so aliens can easily convert to it
Nanoa
Nanoa 22 dagar sedan
America be like: *yeah this thing weight 2 school bus and 5 football field wide*
Vibhaath Chirukandoth
Vibhaath Chirukandoth 22 dagar sedan
There two kinds of countries: The ones that uses metric system and the other that secretly use metric system to reach moon
Rastislav Stanik
Rastislav Stanik 22 dagar sedan
this was super interesting!
james morgan
james morgan 22 dagar sedan
Doesn't surprise me.. Americans are well known for doing things the hard way...
ingsve
ingsve 25 dagar sedan
It's so BS that it's is always stated that it's the International Prototype Kilogram (IPK) that has gained weight when in fact it's likely the one that has changed the least in mass. All the other prototypes are used A LOT more than the IPK and are also shown off like in this video even. It's likely that all the divergence of the various prototypes is simply down to poor or too much handling of them. Sweden has K40 and are very restrictive in it's use. It would never be shown off like in this video for example but always sits locked up for years between the times it is used. K40 is also the prototype that has changed the least out of all of them compared to IPK.
Suzanne Rhodes
Suzanne Rhodes 26 dagar sedan
5:44 When its 2AM and you're trying to be quiet while taking food from the kitchen.
Atmospheric Pressure
Atmospheric Pressure 27 dagar sedan
As an American machinist, I hate metric. 1.2345 in looks way better than 31.3563 mm
Rudolf Wickond
Rudolf Wickond 29 dagar sedan
weight gain: greasy finger prints...
Ishan Ghimire
Ishan Ghimire Månad sedan
That is THE definition of the kilogram. Well, for the US anyway. That's a really casual approach to handling it haha.
Nikto
Nikto Månad sedan
Oh damn that Dr. Patrick Abbott seems awesome and cool guy to me.
Ian Owens
Ian Owens Månad sedan
*We take our kilos very seriously*
Mr. Garbage
Mr. Garbage Månad sedan
The reddit hivemind will not tolerate this evidence America doesn’t refuse the use of the metric system! AMERICA BAD AMERICA BAD AMERICA BAD
John Doe
John Doe Månad sedan
"The real threat was the unreliable weight of the kilogramme mass standard" Not everyday one hears that sentence lmao
ioisblocked
ioisblocked Månad sedan
i wish
dbergerac
dbergerac Månad sedan
Me buying tools in Europe: "I need a set of metric sockets." Dealer: "Do you want the 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch drive? "
seisen
seisen Månad sedan
K4 and K20 you say? Nice
A Very Dangerous Potato
A Very Dangerous Potato Månad sedan
I'm really confused about what I'm watching, and what redefinition of the kilogram? am I living under a rock?
Bambang Wibowo
Bambang Wibowo Månad sedan
Yes, kilogram will stop using a real world object to define kilogram. Scientist all over the world trying to redefine it since 10 years ago or more. You can even watch Veritasium journey with redefining Kilogram. He have a video with the oldest 8 years ago about the topic. Edited: Ok, they already changed the definition, no more real world object! Long live the kilogram!
Nathanael Dean
Nathanael Dean Månad sedan
We use imperial, not because it's easy but because it is hard......
Wabbit Hunter
Wabbit Hunter Månad sedan
This is one of the stupidest things I have ever watched. The Imperial system was in effect hundreds of years before the metric system. Imperial measurements are in NO WAY based on metric measurements. Metric measurement are DERIVED from the imperial system - NOT vice-versa. This guy is an imbecile.
Branden Gutridge
Branden Gutridge Månad sedan
Kinda curious if those stainless steel pieces are available to be bought. That would be badass to own it.
Blood Bath
Blood Bath Månad sedan
They were given 2 4 and 20 420 (:
πκ PiKappa
πκ PiKappa Månad sedan
They redefined it now
Hubert Cumberdale
Hubert Cumberdale Månad sedan
You guys (americans) should go all the way, I know change can be scary but it would be worth it.
BAHADIR ERCAN
BAHADIR ERCAN Månad sedan
Rupert Sheldrake asks the question why laws of physics, constants does not evolve while many are evolving? actually they are and their values evolve as seen in this example k20 and the others which are compounds and their values change by time and saying that it is an exception is not a scientific way of questioning a phenomenon. He will shine in next 50 years :)
Therin Chilnsford
Therin Chilnsford Månad sedan
Metric system sucks!
Neil Cantorne
Neil Cantorne Månad sedan
How do they measure it? Gravity? I think if you wish to measure that in high precision. You should take altitude, air density & tidal factor in to account. They are small but it can affect the mass.
Prateek
Prateek 2 månader sedan
Finally the world has moved on from the practice of anchoring the measurement to a physical object. Its all on fundamental replicable values now.
Prateek
Prateek Månad sedan
@MrBonners yeah what's up with that? the metric system is so much easier to use. I guess it's a pride thing now?
Eucenor
Eucenor 2 månader sedan
bootie butler😂
ocping
ocping 2 månader sedan
The reason the US is still on imperial is because of the same type of people who refuse to wear masks in a pandemic; pure, unadulterated dumbfucks with huge egos and senses of entitlement.
sajid fazal
sajid fazal 2 månader sedan
The buoyancy part seems weird. Does that mean two different materials having equal actual weights (but different volumes) may show different weight measurements due to differences in their volume? If thats true, then to truely know the actual difference between two objects, they should also be of the same volume!!??
GURMEET SINGH
GURMEET SINGH 2 månader sedan
Now kilogram is changed
tukan 165
tukan 165 2 månader sedan
Now this feels to be a video from a distant past because KG is now defined by watt balance tech, but it had only been 3 years ago
ThiccNicc
ThiccNicc 2 månader sedan
Non Americans for some reason all think that we do science and stuff in feet and pounds. We don’t. We know metric for the most part. We just still talk about the weather in Fahrenheit and about things in feet.
Rajan Rao
Rajan Rao 2 månader sedan
k 4 k 20
Carlos Mendez
Carlos Mendez 2 månader sedan
This reminds me of rick and morty when rick made the garage floor to a molecular level actually level and morty stepped in it and then felt the world unsymmetrical and saw flaws because it was so perfect so leveled out lol
ryan febrianto
ryan febrianto 2 månader sedan
I guess this video is the safe place from murican
Manuel Kumli
Manuel Kumli 2 månader sedan
Football in metric system would be much better. I never know how far they actually run or pass.
sxxmx xxsm
sxxmx xxsm 3 månader sedan
k4 and k20?? 420 :D
Lumberjack king the great
Lumberjack king the great 3 månader sedan
1:03 yes that's good I'm ok with keeping our imperial units but can we please get rid of f° c° is better. And yeah that conversion system is. Kinda stupid
Zsuzsa Raffai
Zsuzsa Raffai 3 månader sedan
It's soooo simple in the USA! 1 inch = 25.4 mm 1 foot = 12 inches 1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches 1 mile = 1760 yards = 5280 feet = 63360 inches and 1 square inch = 1 inch X 1 inch 1 square foot = 144 square inches 1 square yard = 9 square feet = 1296 square inches 1 square mile = 3097600 square yards = 27878000 feet and 1 cubic inch = 1 inch X 1 inch X 1 inch 1 cubic foot = 1728 cubic inches 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet = 46656 cubic inches 1 cubic mile = 5451776000 yards It's there anything complicated????
ARWIN NUGROHO
ARWIN NUGROHO 3 månader sedan
If america used metric, It would be the sign of end of the world.
Fogy Arts
Fogy Arts 3 månader sedan
America got k4 and k20 420
A Google User
A Google User 4 månader sedan
I thought a gram was a cubic centimetre of water? shouldn't they just compare to a litre of distilled water?
jimreynold2nd
jimreynold2nd 4 månader sedan
Wait, so, it's 2020 now, and we have already redefined the Kilogram based on ℎ, what do those cylinders and measurement rooms do now?
FW Blok
FW Blok 4 månader sedan
So without metric a foot would not have been 1 size, but depending on whos foot?
John Bailes
John Bailes 4 månader sedan
Please the unit is the metre in French and English. A meter is a device, not a unit of measurement. Confusion source. Why create confusion? The US does nothing to promote metric yet questions the construction of a system they obstinately and obtusely refuse to use. Metric SAVES money. Is there any hope for the USA? Does anybody care now if they use obsolete Reagan-era units? In 1985 during NAFTA negotiations the USA asked Canada to stop metrication. We should not have. We suggest the US use Roman Numerals with the obsolete units. e. g. instead of 2,000 mL, M mL :-)
Yesty Prieto
Yesty Prieto 4 månader sedan
America is a continent.
Bill Randolph
Bill Randolph 4 månader sedan
The true metric people in America are weed dealers yo.
Ayman Sudad
Ayman Sudad 4 månader sedan
Its 2020. No cylinder.
Dirker Bornheim
Dirker Bornheim 4 månader sedan
Maybe woth to know that there was/is the "Metric Conversion Act of 1975 " which declares the metric system to be the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce
mbulelo gumede
mbulelo gumede 4 månader sedan
Everything decays in this universe
Daohan Lu
Daohan Lu 4 månader sedan
actually have a question. If the plane that the scientist who is carrying the K20 is on makes an emergency landing and flight attendants ask every passenger to bring no bags or luggage, would the scientist follow the order?
王跃恒
王跃恒 4 månader sedan
I thought he said it contains Pt and people would try to rob him, instead of Ir radiation...
Sublime
Sublime 4 månader sedan
America received K4 and K20? 420? Nice.
James Dinius
James Dinius 4 månader sedan
Customs officials wanting to open it? Shouldn't they have gotten documents from the US and France bypassing a customs check on it to prevent that kind of thing?
James Dinius
James Dinius 4 månader sedan
1:19 as a US engineer, I can attest to that.
Indrid Cold
Indrid Cold 4 månader sedan
I have been to the United States of America and have found them using both metric and imperial almost seemlessly. There are a few things that they will never do both systems. They use Fahrenheit for temperature measurement most of the time and only rarely use centigrade. Length is in miles for the majority of measurements. But I found places using kilometers also. The rest uses both measurement techniques nearly seemlessly, especially in their mechanical tool kits. I know it is fun to mock them. But the truth is that they really do use both methods for the most part.
Kiran Bhat Woodworking
Kiran Bhat Woodworking 4 månader sedan
Metric is intuitive. When you define a meter as the distance traveled by light in a time frame, you have to say, that makes sense!
Asil Serhan
Asil Serhan 4 månader sedan
where did you get the density numbers from at 4:34. Osmium is the densest metal at 22,59 g/cm3 and iridium at 22,56 g/cm3
Bunny Bro
Bunny Bro 4 månader sedan
Derek: so how much is it worth? Europeans: it's priceless Americans: about $100,000 apiece
phil brooks
phil brooks 10 dagar sedan
so thats £90,000 british
ethyllSvhn0774
ethyllSvhn0774 4 månader sedan
I really liked that guy
Pham Minh
Pham Minh 4 månader sedan
The metric system is superior in every way possible
Enzo Nico
Enzo Nico 4 månader sedan
it`s funny how USA people think America is a country rather than a continent... actually is quite sad. Last time I checked America was a continent. American is the same category as European or Asian... please just stop thinking "American" means "US citizen". Argentinians are Americans, Canadians are Americans. When you realize that North America and South America are one continent for 99% of worlds population except for the USA you start realize how biased you guys are. Or you think eastern Europe is not Europe as well? Maybe that's why USA government treat SA as their backyard, and aid military coup d'etat in my region. Democracy is just a fake excuse that USA (not America, because I'm American and gladly not USA citizen) uses to invade other sovereign nations. And please understand that we do understand that a nation's government is not a nation's people, but you Americans have a historical debt with all South America that you invaded and tortured our people for being afraid of communism back in the 60s - 70-s and even today. So the least you, American citizen, can do is stop using American as "USA citizen". You are not the owner of this continent, and the major part of Americans never went the USA. cya
Allan Davidson
Allan Davidson 4 månader sedan
There is an error at the density table @4:31, Iridium density is 22.56 g/cm3, not 22.65 g/cm3 as described. Osmium is the top material on density.
Magellan 36
Magellan 36 4 månader sedan
lol imagine dropping it and it dents
청솔향
청솔향 4 månader sedan
The integral of the metric system is decimal. Therefore, the conversion of kilogram-gram, kilometer-millimeter is determined only by the decimal coefficient between units, but there is no change in the notation value resulting from the displacement of each unit. In other words, 1-meter and 50-centimeter can be written in just 150 centimeters. The preceding numbers 1 and 5 remain unchanged. This remains the same even when combined with other measures, eg mass. If there is a 45g iron bar at 1m, it will be written as 45g/m. If this is changed in cm, the expression value [45] in 0.45 g/cm is unchanged. But what about 5'8" in the pound-yard method? 5 feet 8 inches would be 5+8/12=5.6666666666....feet if unified towards the feet, If unified in inches, it would be (5x12)+8=68 inches. Either way, the value that was written on a daily basis is losing its meaning. So what happens when you combine this with the weight? It is impossible to predict a bit. Somehow, there will be a huge number of false expressions. Perhaps multiple units are needed. Yards and feet, inches, and pounds and ounces. The core of the metric system is decimal. This is different from the unit system we use intuitively. However, by using a decimal number that can be converted at any equator, we can grasp and apply many concepts that will disappear due to differences of opinion. The United States is not using the metric system as long as there is an inch ruler right next to the feet.
dbergerac
dbergerac 5 månader sedan
We've been "stealth metric" for a very long time.
Drum Ape
Drum Ape 5 månader sedan
But isn't weight always relative and have to do with gravity in the first place?
javlanoub
javlanoub 5 månader sedan
Short answer: no but technically yes
Tay Gumi
Tay Gumi 5 månader sedan
Y U No use Metric instead... I was always kinda struggling with the conversion to Imperial. :PP
Youngmoon Plays
Youngmoon Plays Månad sedan
@MrBonners metric fanboy
JD
JD 5 månader sedan
0:50
André Borowski
André Borowski 5 månader sedan
Yes! USA is going to be metric...very slow, however, inch by inch.
[BosS] HITMAN 20
[BosS] HITMAN 20 5 månader sedan
then feet by feet, then miles by miles
NENNO
NENNO 5 månader sedan
American goverment at its best. They can't even educate the customs officials or provide a special clearance for the transport.
Jakob
Jakob 5 månader sedan
It seems it is these 3 old British colonies that still use the imperial units the United States, Myanmar, and Liberia Africa. all pretty new countries leftovers from red coat ruling so it takes time, they need to mature.. but USA are ranking higher then Liberia 137 and Myanmar 130 on the worlds backbone index www.transparency.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/MapindexNZ-1024x973.jpg but yeah, makes no sense that they these years, now actually is basing all their values in metric units and then put this old imperial dated standard on top of it, for no benefits what so ever, even when signed the metric agreement.
Ertagonn
Ertagonn 6 månader sedan
World: "Metric System" America: "That's crazy !"
Ertagonn
Ertagonn Månad sedan
@Hubert Cumberdale I've only got crisps left. How about a pringle?
Hubert Cumberdale
Hubert Cumberdale Månad sedan
@Ertagonn Can I also have a cookie?
TacoTacoTacoTaco
TacoTacoTacoTaco Månad sedan
😬
Ertagonn
Ertagonn 4 månader sedan
@Zion J Well good job. Get yourself a cookie.
Zion J
Zion J 4 månader sedan
@Ertagonn Based on your uploads, I'd guess the latter
Devin Pauley
Devin Pauley 6 månader sedan
There are two types of countries in this world... those that use the metric system, and those that have been to the moon.
TimeTravellingBunny
TimeTravellingBunny 6 månader sedan
@Devin Pauley Yet another revealing comment.
Devin Pauley
Devin Pauley 6 månader sedan
TimeTravellingBunny nope but it sure is suspicious 😆
TimeTravellingBunny
TimeTravellingBunny 6 månader sedan
​@Devin Pauley Well, that's revealing jump to a conclusion. Correlation is not necessarily causation.
Devin Pauley
Devin Pauley 6 månader sedan
TimeTravellingBunny I find it funny that nasa lost it’s ability to send astronauts to space only a few years after adopting the metric system lol
TimeTravellingBunny
TimeTravellingBunny 6 månader sedan
There is a country whose Mars Climate Orbiter was destroyed in 1999 "because a contractor provided thruster firing data in English units while NASA was using metric.” science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2007/08jan_metricmoon/ That country has realized that standardizing on the metric system is appropriate when landing NASA astronauts on the moon in the future. (Same reference.) There are people who insist on using a system of measurement used by only three increasingly isolated countries on the planet.
tanyano9
tanyano9 6 månader sedan
I wonder how ofern they have to go to France to be callibrated...?
Guzman Gil
Guzman Gil 6 månader sedan
of course it is. they use "thousands of an inch"
Alex Pink
Alex Pink 6 månader sedan
Yes. Saved you 8min.
Rvgerwen
Rvgerwen 6 månader sedan
What would Trumpie say about this?
hongsaikruw
hongsaikruw 6 månader sedan
Death to USA
Gurjeet Singh
Gurjeet Singh 6 månader sedan
K4 and K20 nice
Nikioko
Nikioko 6 månader sedan
You say "metric system" but it is actually the international system of units (SI) which defines not only metres but also six other base units (kilogram, mol, second, Ampere, Kelvin and candela) of which all other units are derivatives (e.g. Joule is kg m² / s²). And today all SI base unit, also kilogram and metre, are defined by natural constants rather than prototypes.
Eyrm Jernberg
Eyrm Jernberg 6 månader sedan
Well... Yes... Most of the continent use the metric system...
Chessed Gamon
Chessed Gamon 6 månader sedan
“Are you allowed to say that?” “No, the secret police will hunt me down and break my kneecaps with a yardstick.”
Oscar Bautista
Oscar Bautista 6 månader sedan
I see you are familiar with the FBI.
james pruett
james pruett 6 månader sedan
medicine had so much confusion with people confusing milligram vs microgram that they invented their own amount called "a gamma".
cena alan
cena alan 6 månader sedan
Long in short: US already is a metric but it hates to round up numbers for factor of ten. Why should somebody want 10 meter long stick if 10.907 is more cool?
Voui Luiton
Voui Luiton 6 månader sedan
no
Gonietube NYC
Gonietube NYC 6 månader sedan
Stupid SAYS THE MAN WHOS NEVER MACHINED ANYTHING FOR AIRCRAFT OR CARS ENGINES ETC SPACE EQUIPMENT AND ROCKET ENGINES ETC
luke france
luke france 5 månader sedan
What are trying to say?
LU LA MA
LU LA MA 6 månader sedan
01:00 When you are totally honest.
Dixie Normous
Dixie Normous 6 månader sedan
Just weight it lmao
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