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While some conversion formulas force you to round up or down, they're close enough for reliable estimates. In the previous exercise, for example, no one will ruin her cookies by being a single degree off. Unless you are a total perfectionist like Mrs. Fields, in which case you need to get yourself an oven with a more elaborate temperature dial.

Let's try another one. To convert from kilograms to pounds, multiply the number of kilograms by 2.2. To go the other way, divide the number of pounds by 2.2. Letting represent pounds and K represent kilograms, we find the following formulas:

P = 2.2K

If The Merchant of Venice's Shylock wanted a pound of flesh, you could give him 0.4536 kilograms of flesh, and that would be the same thing. Hopefully it doesn't tick him off that you are using a different system of measurement. He doesn't seem like someone whose bad side you would want to be on.

Sample Problem

A bread recipe from Germany says to add 0.5 kg of flour. How many pounds of flour is this?

When K = 0.5, P = 2.2(0.5) = 1.10. Therefore, 0.5 kg of flour is 1.1 pounds of flour. That is a lot of bread. We may need to pick up some more cold cuts.

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