At the end of Second World War, a number of different systems of measurement were in use throughout the world. Some of these systems were metric system variations, whereas others were based on customary systems of measure. It was recognised that additional steps were needed to promote a worldwide measurement system. After representations by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and by the French Government, the 9th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM), in 1948, asked the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) to conduct an international study of the measurement needs of the scientific, technical, and educational communities.[21]

Based on the findings of this study, the 10th CGPM in 1954 decided that an international system should be derived from six base units to provide for the measurement of temperature and optical radiation in addition to mechanical and electromagnetic quantities. The six base units that were recommended are the metre, kilogram, second, ampere, degree Kelvin (later renamed kelvin), and candela. In 1960, the 11th CGPM named the system the International System of Units, abbreviated SI from the French name, Le Système international d'unités.[22][23] The BIPM has also described SI as "the modern metric system".[24] The seventh base unit, the mole, was added in 1971 by the 14th CGPM.

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