Feet and meters are common units of length.
Yamada Taro, Getty Images
This example problem demonstrates how to convert feet to meters.
The average commercial jet flies around an altitude of 32,500 feet. How high is this in meters?
1 foot = 0.3048 meters
Set up the conversion so the desired unit will be cancelled out. In this case, we want m to be the remaining unit.
distance in m = (distance in ft) x (0.3048 m/1 ft)
distance in m = (32500 x 0.3048) m
distance in m = 9906 m
32,500 feet is equal to 9906 meters.
Many conversion factors are difficult to remember. Feet to meters would fall into this category. An alternate method to perform this conversion is to use multiple easily remembered steps.
1 foot = 12 inches
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
100 centimeters = 1 meter
Using these steps we can express a distance in meters from feet as:
distance in m = (distance in ft) x (12 in/1 ft) x (2.54 cm/1 in) x (1 m/100 cm)
distance in m = (distance in ft) x 0.3048 m/ft
Note this gives the same conversion factor as above. The only thing to watch out for is for the intermediate units to cancel out.
Chemistry Homework Resources