Eve, type "metric conversion" into the Quandaries and Queries search field on the first page of Math Central. You will find at or near the top of the list my description of exactly what all those prefixes are about and how to convert. The search field looks through ten years' worth of questions and will often lead to faster answers to your questions than waiting for a reply to a question you send in
yourself. Try it!
Stephen La Rocque.>