The metric system is the standard method of measurement used by scientists. Shown are the major units used in the metric ("SI -- Standard International") system. What is the main characteristic of the metric system?
Every unit of measurement is 10 times larger or smaller than the next unit up or down. For example, 10 millimeters makes a centimeter, 10 centimeters make a decimeter, and 10 decimeters make a meter. This measurement system makes it very easy to convert from one unit to another, since all you have to do is move the decimal place back and forth.
Compare that to the English measurement system where changing from feet to miles involves multiplying by 5, 280.