JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An illustration showing the instution of the metric system in France, 1800. This standardised system of weights and measures was introduced into France under the supervision of the chemist Jean Chaptal, whom Napoleon had placed in charge of education. The system was recognised (but not adopted) by the UK and other countries during the nineteenth century. In 1960, a scientific conference on weights and measures recommended implementation of an international metric system including the metre, the kilogram and the second as standard units. SI (systeme international) units are now accepted as standard in many areas of usage.
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