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# M4.3.4

Converts from one measurement to another within the same system, i.e., customary or metric (e.g., feet to miles, minutes to hours).

### Seeing Interference Fringes

Demonstrate the wave nature of light by projecting interference patterns. Detecting the interference of waves is one of the most powerful methods in science for measuring wave phenomena, and using the waves and their interference can reveal underlying details of their sources and the materials through which they travel.

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### Metric Wins!

There have been many metric systems, or systems of measurement. On 7 April 1795 the National Convention of France decreed new "Republican Measures" to be legal measures in France. The units of measurement included the meter, liter, and gram; the prefixes centi, deci, deca, hecto, and kilo were also sanctioned. This was the decimal system of measurement or the decimal metric system. It has survived practically unchanged and now is known simply as the metric system. The latest version of the system is the International System of Units or SI for short.

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### Dr. Smith vs. The Lawyer

A lawyer's use of some very simple science and math. The facts are true, although simplified; the company names have been changed.

Acme Enameling Company operated a cast-iron foundry and enameling plant, where it made bathtubs and sinks for twenty-seven years. It dumped factory wastes on vacant property behind the plant. Zenith Construction Company then bought the property and used it as a construction waste landfill.

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### Coastal Threat: A Story In Unit Conversions

On February 4, 1999, the 639-foot freighter New Carissa became grounded near Coos Bay on the Oregon coast. Aboard the ship were 400,000 gallons of bunker fuel, threatening to leak from the fractured hull and damage the state's fragile beach habitats. With an approaching storm increasing the chances of a disastrous spill, authorities decided to set the ship afire, a choice not without controversy and risks of its own. An oceanographer friend and I became curious about the extent of the disaster associated with the potential spill.

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