Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Cheryl, a teacher:

Why are bags of soil measured in litres?

Hi Cheryl,

I don't know. I looked at a bag of potting soil that I have and in large bold print it says $17.6\; L$ and then in a smaller font $0.623\; ft^3, 3.0\; kg$ and $6.6\; lb.$ I find it interesting that the quantity in the metric system is given in litres and kilograms but not in cubic meters. One litre is 1000 cubic centimeters so $17.6 \; L$ is $0.0176 \mbox{ cubic meters.}$ I like liters in this case because I have an intuitive feeling about $17.6 \;L$ because I know the size of a liter of milk but I don't have an intuitive feel for $0.0176 \mbox{ cubic meters.}$

Again, my answer to your question is I don't know.


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