Definition:Metric System/Length/Centimetre
Centimetre
The centimetre is the CGS base unit of length.
Conversion Factors
\(\ds \) | \(\) | \(\ds 1\) | centimetre | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 10\) | millimetres | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 10 \, 000\) | micrometres | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 0 \cdotp 01\) | metre | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 0 \cdotp 39370 \, 8\) | inch | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 0 \cdotp 0328\) | foot | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 0 \cdotp 0109\) | yard |
Symbol
- $\mathrm {cm}$
The symbol for the centimetre is $\mathrm {cm}$:
Its $\LaTeX$ code is \mathrm {cm}
.
Square Centimetre
The square centimetre is the CGS unit of area.
It is the area of a square whose sides are $1$ centimetre in length.
\(\ds \) | \(\) | \(\ds 1\) | square centimetre | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 100\) | square millimetres | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 10^{-4}\) | square metres |
Cubic Centimetre
The cubic centimetre is the CGS unit of volume.
It is defined as the volume contained by a cube whose edges are $1$ centimetre long.
\(\ds \) | \(\) | \(\ds 1\) | cubic centimetre | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 1\) | millilitre | |||||||||||
\(\ds \) | \(=\) | \(\ds 10^{-3}\) | litre |
Historical Note
The centimetre was initially defined as:
- $10^{-9}$ the distance from the Earth's equator to the North Pole at sea level
that is:
- $\frac 1 {100}$ the length of a metre.
Its importance as one of the base units of the CGS system has waned, as the MKS system has supplanted it in importance.
Linguistic Note
The spelling centimetre is the one adopted by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.
Centimeter is the variant used in standard American English.
See the linguistic note on metre.
Linguistic Note on Centi-
The prefix centi- derives from the Latin centum, which means hundred.
Sources
- 1944: Alfred E. Holbrow: Geometrical Drawing (12th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Section $\text I$. Introduction
- 1964: D.E. Rutherford: Classical Mechanics (3rd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text I$: Kinematics: $1$. Space and Time
- 1966: Isaac Asimov: Understanding Physics ... (previous) ... (next): $\text {I}$: Motion, Sound and Heat: Chapter $2$: Falling Bodies: Free Fall
- 1986: David Wells: Curious and Interesting Numbers ... (previous) ... (next): $100$
- 1997: David Wells: Curious and Interesting Numbers (2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $100$