How To Convert 1 Cubic Centimeter to Milliliters: Steps & Tutorial

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  • 0:05 Setting Up the Problem
  • 0:28 Step 1
  • 1:28 Step 2
  • 1:59 Solution
  • 2:14 Checking Your Work
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

A cubic centimeter and a milliliter are both units of volume, but how do you convert between one and the other? This lesson takes you through a step by step process to convert between these two volume units.

Setting Up the Problem

Francine just got back from the doctor's office and has run into a problem. The doctor gave her a prescription for some very strong heart medication: 1 cubic centimeter twice a day for the next two weeks. The problem is that none of Francine's measuring devices measure cubic centimeters - they all show milliliters. How does Francine get the right amount of medication? Let's take a closer look.

Step 1

Convert from cubic centimeters to liters

The liter is the standard metric unit of volume, so it makes sense to convert our one cubic centimeter to liters first. For a long time, a liter was defined as the volume one kilogram of nearly freezing water takes up at standard atmospheric pressure. However, that definition has changed to now be equal to a volume of exactly 1000 cubic centimeters.

This means that the conversion factor to go from cubic centimeters to liters is:

(1 liter / 1000 cubic centimeters)

A conversion factor is simply a ratio that is used to convert from one set of units to an equivalent amount of different units. To get from units of cubic centimeters to liters, simply multiply by the conversion factors:

(1 cubic centimeter) x (1 liter / 1000 cubic centimeters) = (1 liter / 1000)

The cubic centimeters cancel out, leaving us with only liters, so:

1 cubic centimeter = 1/1000 liter

Step 2

Convert from liters to milliliters

Now that we have converted to liters, we only have one step to go to get to our final unit of milliliters. What is the factor we use for that conversion? Well, a milliliter is defined as 1/1000 of a liter, so the conversion factor is:

(1000 milliliters / 1 liter)

So, all we need to do now is take the result from the first step and multiply it by the conversion factor:

(1 liter / 1000) x (1000 milliliters / liter)

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