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Metric (S.I.)
1.61 kmKilometre
1,609.35 mMetre
16,093.47 dmDecimetre
160,934.73 cmCentimetre
1.609e+6 mmMillimetre
1.609e+9 µmMicrometre
1.609e+12 nmNanometre
1.609e+13 AAngstrom
1.00 miMile US
1.00 miMile imp
1,760.00 ydYard US
1,760.00 ydyard imp
5,280.00 ftfoot US
5,280.00 ftfoot imp
63,360.01 inInch
5.214e-14 pcParsec
1.706e-13 AlAnnee lumiere
1.075e-8 AEUnite astronomique
8.948e-8 MnlMinute lumiere
5.375e-6 SlSeconde lumiere
0.868 n.miMile Nautique





The meter is the basic unit of length in the International System (SI). It is defined since 1983 as the distance light travels in vacuum in 1/299792458 second.


  • before 1791 : the lengths were measured in reference to humans (the thumb, foot, fathom) as every human being is different, it often took as reference the King, was a strong symbol of monarchy.
    • 1668 : the meter is equal to 38 inches of Prussia (John Wilkins)
    • 1675 : the meter is equal to the length of a pendulum that swings with a half-period of one second
  • 1791 : Academy of Sciences defines meter meridian which was based on the circumference of the earth, and worth 1 /20 000 000 a meridian.
  • 1799 : Creating a yardstick platinum from the meter M and became the reference.
  • 1889 : the International Bureau of Weights and Measures redefined the meter as the distance between two points on a bar of an alloy of platinum and iridium. This bar is always kept at the Pavillon de Breteuil in Sèvres (like the mass, the calculation of the second or UTC)
  • 1960 : The 11th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) redefined the meter as 1 650 763.73 wavelengths of orange radiation emitted by the isotope 86 of krypton4.
  • 1983 : Following the discovery of relativity, the speed of light is fixed at 299,792,458 m /s and the meter is redefined as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1 /299792458 second. This is the most accurate definition for the second unit is the International System (SI) measured with the lowest uncertainty.