February 26, 2015

Hello, all,

I’m writing a calculator for a digital cookbook, and I can’t figure out the exact conversion rate from the American system of teaspoons and pints and gallons to the metric system of milliliters and deciliters and liters.

Distance is covered by the formula 1 inch = 25.4 millimeters exactly. If you know that you can convert completely from the American method of measuring distance to the metric method and vice versa.

But what is the formula for measures of volume? Has someone officially declared a conversion formula that lets us travel freely from the antiquated Imperial system of tablespoons to the obviously better metric system of mls?

Research has shown that supposedly there are 236.5882365 milliliters in 1 cup, and if that’s the exact number, with no more significant decimal places, then I still want to see some official declaration of that fact. And even if it’s not the exact number, it seems likely that, with so many decimal places, it is the result of the division of some number by another, in which case what is that formula?

And then there’s the problem of converting from units such as tablespoons, which measure volume, to units such as ounces, which measure weight.

FWIW, I do tell the readers of the cookbook that the conversions I offer work perfectly only when the substance being measured is water, as opposed to, say, flour, which is less dense, and plutonium, which is more dense than water. While many recipes in the book call for various amounts of flour, so far none of them calls for even the tiniest smidgen of plutonium, but you get my point.

Is there a conversion factor or formula that converts from volume to weight, whether in the Imperial system or the metric?

I know this is a lot of questions, and I think I’ve confused myself a little in composing them for you, so I will appreciate ANY answers you can offer.

And please tell Unca I can’t go skating next weekend after all.