The International System of Units (abbreviated SI) is the metric system used in science, industry, and medicine.
Brief history of the SI
The creation of the decimal Metric System at the time of the French Revolution and the subsequent deposition of two platinum standards representing the meter and the kilogram, on 22 June 1799, in the Archives de la République in Paris can be seen as the first step in the development of the present International System of Units.
In 1832, Gauss strongly promoted the application of this Metric System, together with the second defined in astronomy, as a coherent system of units for the physical sciences. Gauss was the first to make absolute measurements of the earth’s magnetic force in terms of a decimal system based on the three mechanical units millimeter, gram and second for, respectively, the quantities length, mass and time. In later years, Gauss and Weber extended these measurements to include electrical phenomena
These applications in the field of electricity and magnetism were further developed in the 1860s under the active leadership of Maxwell and Thomson through the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS). They formulated the requirement for a coherent system of units with base units and derived units.In 1874 the BAAS introduced the CGS system, a three-dimensional coherent unit system based on the three mechanical units centimeter, gram and second, using prefixes ranging from micro to mega to express decimal submultiples and multiples. The following development of physics as an experimental science was largely based on this system.
The sizes of the coherent CGS units in the fields of electricity and magnetism,proved to beinconvenient so, in the 1880s, the BAAS and the International Electrical Congress, predecessor of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), approved a mutually coherent set of practical units. Among them were the ohm forelectrical resistance, the volt for electromotive force, and the ampere for electric current.
After the establishment of the Meter Convention on May, 20 1875 the CIPM concentrated on the construction of new prototypes taking the meter and kilogram as the base units of length and mass. In 1889 the 1st CGPM sanctioned the international prototypes for the meter and the kilogram. Together with the astronomical second as unit of time, these units constituted a three-dimensional mechanical unit system similar to the CGS system, but with the base units meter, kilogram and second.
No matter what field of science you enter, you will need to take measurements, understand them, communicate them to others, and be able to repeat them. In other words, we all have to speak the same basic language.
The ability to obtain accurate measurements and communicate those measurements is a key requirement for progress.
These are the seven basic units in the SI system: the kilogram (kg) (mass), the second (s) (time), the Kelvin (K) (temperature), the ampere (A) (electric current), the mole (mol) (amount of a substance), the candela (cd) (luminous intensity), and the meter (m), (distance).
The Seven SI Units
This figure displays the fundamental SI units and the combinations leading to more complex measurement units.