Measuring Length

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Measuring length is a straightforward process, but the measurer must be able to use different units of length. Discover how to relate inches to other length units with help from a math teacher in this free video on basic math lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Math Lessons
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Video Transcript

How does one measure length? Hi, my name is Jimmy Chang, I've been teaching college math for 9 years and measuring length is actually a pretty straightforward process but the only thing you might want to keep in mind is the kind of units of length that are out there. Now we have the English system, we have the metric system and for the purposes of this discussion, we'll be focusing strictly on the English system. Now it all starts of course with the ruler because you definitely need that to measure length as accurately as possible. So what we have here is a 16th inch ruler, in other words each tick is worth 16th, one sixteenth of an inch. Now basically the idea of course is that every 16 ticks represents an entire inch but if you wanted to measure tick by tick, this is what happens. First tick that you see here is one sixteenth, the second tick of course represents two sixteenths but remember some of these fractions you can definitely reduce. So the second notch being two sixteenth would be one eighth. And then moving forward you have four sixteenth which is reducible to one fourth of an inch. Now getting to the halfway mark, you have eight sixteenths, just count them there's eight total ticks and eight sixteenths gives you of course one half of an inch. Now all the way down to the one, you know you've reached one whole inch which is sixteen sixteenths. Now from then on you just want to think about how inches relate to other units because obviously you don't want to count in sixteenth inches all the time so you have then the bigger units. Now after you have inches you have feet. Now remember just got to keep in mind the various conversions. 12 inches equals 1 foot. From then on you move on to feet to yards. 3 feet is equal to 1 yard. Now yards are pretty big as a whole but then the next logical conversion would be to miles. Now one of the more common yet somewhat obscure at the same time is 1 mile equals 5,280 feet but that's a lot of feet but you can also convert that to yard if you like. So I'm Jimmy Chang and that's a couple of examples on how you measure length.


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