- Intervals in space:
*i.e.*, lengths. - Quantities of inertia, or mass, possessed by various bodies.
- Intervals in time.

Each of the three fundamental quantities--*length*, *mass*, and *time*--is
measured with respect to some convenient standard. The system of units
currently used by all scientists, and most engineers, is called the *mks system*--after
the first initials of the names of the units of length, mass, and time, respectively, in this system:
*i.e.*, the *meter*, the *kilogram*, and the *second*.

The mks unit of length is the *meter* (symbol m), which was formerly the distance between
two scratches on a platinum-iridium alloy bar kept at the International Bureau of Metric
Standard in Sèvres, France, but is now defined as the distance occupied by
wavelengths of light of the orange-red spectral line of the
isotope Krypton 86 in vacuum.

The mks unit of mass is the *kilogram* (symbol kg), which is defined as the mass
of a platinum-iridium alloy cylinder kept at the International Bureau of Metric
Standard in Sèvres, France.

The mks unit of time is the *second* (symbol s), which was formerly defined in terms of the
Earth's rotation, but is now defined as the time for oscillations
associated
with the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the
isotope Cesium 133.

In addition to the three fundamental quantities, classical mechanics
also deals with *derived quantities*,
such as velocity, acceleration, momentum, angular momentum, *etc.* Each of
these derived quantities can be reduced to some particular combination of
length, mass, and time. The mks units of these derived quantities
are, therefore, the corresponding combinations of the mks units of length, mass, and time.
For instance, a velocity can be reduced to a length divided by a time. Hence,
the mks units of velocity are meters per second:

(1) |

(2) |