Show Summary Details

p. 11. A brief historylocked

  • David J. Hand


‘A brief history’ shows that measurement is at least as old as civilization. Different systems and different units of measurement were developed in different places, with the physical size of natural biological objects frequently being used as a basic unit. The key drivers for a uniform measurement system were trade, the industrial revolution, and scientific advance. In 1960 the Système International d’Units (SI units) was introduced, consisting of seven basic units: length (metre), mass (kilogram), time (second), electric current (ampere), temperature (degree kelvin), quantity of substance (mole), and luminous intensity (candela). Another twenty-two named units were defined as powers and combinations of these basic seven.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.