Questions and answers on how to convert things from one unit or system to another



Postby Cat » Sat Sep 25, 2004 4:36 am

What is the conversion for milliliter to 1 pound?

Re: Conversion

Postby Knight » Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:46 pm

Cat wrote:What is the conversion for milliliter to 1 pound?

Cat, milliliters are a measurement of volume 1, ml is 1/1000 of a liter. pounds are a measurement of weight (or more properly, mass.)

You can't convert from one to the other without knowing what it is you're converting, be it water, oil, milk, lead, feathers, or whatever.

You have to know how much a certain volume of something weighs before you can convert it. This is called the specific gravity of a substance. In the metric system, one cubic centimeter of water weighs one gram. it was determined that the volume of water that weighed one kilogram 1,000 grams would be the standard for volumes, known as the liter. (so, a liter has a volume of 0.1 m³)

In the English System, a similar tact was used. They used something standard to related volume to weight. The volume of one pint (english, not american) of water weighs one pound. (In the US, a pint weighs a little less than a pound, pecause our pint is smaller, but thats a different story.)

In any event, in both cases, a similar method was used. we have a specific gravity measurement that lets us convert a unit of volume into a unit of weight. For water, the standard, that number is 1.0. Vegitable oil, for example, has a specific gravity of about 0.92 g/cc, so it floats on water. Leads specific gravity is 11.34.

As you can see, there is no easy way to convert from a known volume to a weight (mass) without knowing the specific gracity of what you're converting.

I hope this helps.
William J. Knight
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Los Alamos National Labs
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