# Definition of a Metric Ton?

Is a Metric Ton 2000 lbs converted into kg? Or, is it as simple as 2000 kg? Regardless, is this an American term, or what? Is this because us Americans can only think in terms of English units? Hence, we have a need to express things in these terms, even if creating bastard units?

In short, do Europeans think in these terms? Can they comprehend a “ton”? Isn’t that a concept indigenous to the English system of units?

• Jinx

. metric ton

I found this definition:

Having lived in Germany for 3 years, Japan for 5.5 years, and Korea for a total of 3.5 years now, I can safely say that residents in all of those countries understand the concept of a metric ton.

Now why would you even think this?

Yes, we know what it weighs - 1,000 kgs is a simple way to conceive of it.

BTW, it’s usually spelled “tonne” to distinguish it from the old version.

They call it a “tonne”

From Wikipedia:

[quote]
[ol][li]long ton (simply ton in countries such as the United Kingdom which formerly used the Imperial system of weights and measures) is a weight ton or gross ton, and is 2,240 lb (exactly 1,016.0469088 kg). …[/li][li]short ton (usually called simply ton in the USA or sometimes called a net ton) = 2000 lb (exactly 907.18474 kg). …[/li][li]metric ton, often referred as tonne, is 1000 kg (also 10^3 kg, 1 E3 kg or 1 Mg).[/ol][/li][/quote]

a) In the US, it’s a ton. But, then again, gauge became ok as gage, so who is the US to judge spelling? Personally, I think the grad students and profs who can’t spell brought “gage” into being.

b) Why would I think 2000 kg = a metric ton? Well, like, maybe I’m US-oriented, and so, in the US a ton is 2000 lbs. Just a thought…

• Jinx

Has it? I thought ‘gauge’ was an instrument and ‘gage’ was a kind of plum.

People in countries that have been metric since generations might get confused by the adjective metric, though (as in, is a metric ton different from the normal 1000 kg ton?).

A strange thought, IMO. A direct translation of an old-fashioned unit of measure that wasn’t even used at the time, in the country that invented metric, would largely be anathema to the whole idea.

Am I crazy, or can a tonne alternatively be called a “teragram” (assuming I’ve got my metric prefixes straight)?

Starting with Kilogram (kg):

10 kg = 1 Megagram (Mg ?)
100 kg = 1 Gigagram (Gg ?)
1000 kg = 1 Teragram (Tg ?) = 1 tonne

From my experience in those countries, they identify the thing as a ton (tonne). I was using the term metric ton to identify the concept.

No:

1,000 kg = 1 Megagram (Mg)
1,000,000 kg = 1 Gigagram (Gg)
1,000,000,000 kg = 1 Teragram (Tg)

No, after “kilo-”, the prefixes go by 1000 by each time. So 1 Mg = 10[sup]6[/sup] g = 10[sup]3[/sup] kg = 1 tonne. One gigagram (Gg) would be 1000 tonnes, and one teragram (Tg) would be one million tonnes. After that would come the petagram (Pg) and the exagram (Eg), which are (again) each a thousand times bigger than the last.