Which is correct: decameter (dc) or dekameter (dk)?

This year I am taking both chemistry and biology. Both classes are reviewing the metric system, but for dekameter, they have different spellings and different abbreviations. In Biology it's decameter, abbrevaited dc. In Chemistry, it's dekameter, and abbreviated dk. I was wondering why the same measurement can be spelled two different ways, and which is the correct phrase, so that I may tell my teachers the correct one and my confusion will end.
Thanx, Drew "Overly Inquisitive" Shack 8/19/99

According to the Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI) by Barry Taylor at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), neither is correct. The official name of the unit is "dekameter", but the abbreviation for deka- is da, not dk. A dekameter is abbreviated "dam".

The 1995 version of Taylor's guide is available in PDF format as NIST Special Publication 811.

Author: Fred Senese senese@antoine.frostburg.edu



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