Is there anything smaller than a femtometer

SCALES OF MEASUREMENT


THE METER ... THE GRAM ... THE SECOND ... THE ITEM



A note on the naming of numbers over 999,999,999 and numbers less than .000,001:

  • The Long Scale was first, originating in France. The major names occur every power of one million (6 digits).
  • Britain adopted the Long Scale by the early 1600s. Dots were placed every 6 digits.
  • In the mid-1600s, France and Italy started placing commas every 3 digits.
  • At nearly the same time, French usage changed to the Short Scale. Major names occur every power of one thousand (3 digits).
  • The French brought the Short Scale to the American colonies. The US always used the Short Scale.
  • Most European, Spanish Speaking, and Portuguese-Speaking countries adopted the Long Scale.
  • In 1961, the French Government changed all French speaking nations to the Long Scale.
  • In 1974, the British Government changed to the Short Scale.
  • Most English-Speaking and Arab countries, Brazil, and Russia now use the Short Scale.
  • Canada, South Africa, Namibia, and Antarctica use both scales, depending on the language spoken.
  • East and Southeast Asia, and Greenland have languages with numbers not based on powers of one thousand. Some use myriads.


THE METRIC PREFIXES APPLIED TO THE METER, WITH EXAMPLES


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nameprefix10xexampleU.S. - Short ScaleEurope - Long Scale
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1 yoctometer1 ym10-24 m-1 septillionth meter1 quadrillionth meter
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1 zeptometer1 zm10-21 m-1 sextillionth meter1 trilliardth meter
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1 attometer1 am10-18 m-1 quintillionth meter1 trillionth meter
10 attometers10 am10-17 m(smaller than anything known)

100 attometers100 am10-16 mQuark

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1 femtometer1 fm10-15 mProton1 quadrillionth meter1 billiardth meter
10 femtometers10 fm10-14 mCarbon atom nucleus

100 femtometers100 fm10-13 mSpace around nucleus

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1 picometer1 pm10-12 mElectron1 trillionth meter1 billionth meter
10 picometers10 pm10-11 mInnermost s electron orbital

100 picometers100 pm10-10 mEntire carbon atom

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1 nanometer1 nm10-9 mOne nucleotide base1 billionth meter1 milliardth meter
10 nanometers10 nm10-8 mRNA strand

100 nanometers100 nm10-7 mUltraviolet wavelength, Small chromosome

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1 micrometer (micron)1 um10-6 mMicrowaves, Cell nucleus1 millionth meter1 millionth meter
10 micrometers10 um10-5 mCell (biology), phonograph groove width

100 micrometer100 um10-4 mCluster of cells

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1 millimeter1 mm10-3 mAverage integrated circuit chip1 thousandth meter1 thousandth meter
1 centimeter1 cm10-2 mFingernail, Dime1 hundredth meter1 hundredth meter
1 decimeter1 dm10-1 mPaperback novel, Maple leaf1 tenth meter1 tenth meter
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1 meter1 m100 mCouch cushion, TV set1 meter1 meter
1 dekameter1 Dm (or dkm)101 mSmall house, Oak tree10 meters10 meters
1 hectometer1 Hm102 mCourt house, Orchard100 meters100 meters
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1 kilometer1 Km103 mGrand Coulee Dam1 thousand meters1 thousand meters
1 myriameter 1 Mym = 10 Km104 mTallahassee FL10 thousand meters10 thousand meters
100 kilometer100 Km105 mGreat Salt Lake UT

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1 megameter1 Mm106 mThe state of Florida1 million meters1 million meters
10 megameters10 Mm107 mEarth

100 megameters100 Mm108 mSatellite orbits (large)

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1 gigameter1 Gm109 mOrbit of the Moon1 billion meters1 milliard meters
10 gigameters10 Gm1010 mThe Sun & corona, Neptune's moon orbits

100 gigameter100 Gm1011 mOrbit of Mercury

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1 terameter1 Tm1012 mOrbit of Ceres, Antares diameter1 trillion meters1 billion meters
10 terameters10 Tm1013 mOrbit of Neptune, Epsilon Aurigae diam.

100 terameters100 Tm1014 mSolar System and Oort cloud

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1 petameter1 Pm1015 mSun's major gravity influence1 quadrillion meters1 billiard meters
10 petameters10 Pm1016 mDistance light travels in a year

100 petameters100 Pm1017 mDistance to Sirius

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1 exameter1 Em1018 mDistance to the Hyades cluster1 quintillion meters1 trillion meters
10 exameters10 Em1019 mDistance to the Orion Nebula (M42)

100 exameters100 Em1020 mThe Sun's star cloud in the Orion Arm

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1 zettameter1 Zm1021 mThe Orion spiral arm of the Milky Way1 sextillion meters1 trilliard meters
10 zettameters10 Zm1022 mThe Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds

100 zettameters100 Zm1023 mDistance to Andromeda Galaxy

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1 yottameter1 Ym1024 mDistance to the Hydra cluster of galaxies1 septillion meters1 quadrillion meters
10 yottameters10 Ym1025 mDistance to quasars

100 yottameters100 Ym1026 mDistance of the farthest observed objects

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THE METRIC PREFIXES APPLIED TO THE GRAM, WITH EXAMPLES


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nameprefix10xexampleU.S. - Short ScaleEurope - Long Scale
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.001 yoctogram.001 yg10-27 gElectron1 octillionth gram1 quadrilliardth gram
.01 yoctograms.01 yg10-26 gdown quark

.1 yoctograms.1 yg10-25 gMuon, pion

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1 yoctogram1 yg10-24 gHydrogen atom, proton, neutron1 septillionth gram1 quadrillionth gram
10 yoctograms10 yg10-23 gLithium atom

100 yoctograms100 yg10-22 gAcetic acid molecule

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1 zeptogram1 zg10-21 gOne DNA base pair1 sextillionth gram1 trilliardth gram
10 zeptograms10 zg10-20 gBuckminsterfullerene molecule C60

100 zeptograms100 zg10-19 gHemoglobin

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1 attogram1 ag10-18 gSmall virus1 quintillionth gram1 trillionth gram
10 attograms10 ag10-17 gPolyethylene molecule

100 attograms100 ag10-16 gRibosome

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1 femtogram1 fg10-15 gLarge virus1 quadrillionth gram1 billiardth gram
10 femtograms10 fg10-14 gChromosome (small)

100 femtograms100 fg10-13 gSmall cell nucleus

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1 picogram1 pg10-12 gBacterium1 trillionth gram1 billionth gram
10 picograms10 pg10-11 gDNA in human cell (total)

100 picograms100 pg10-10 gHuman red blood cell

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1 nanogram1 ng10-9 gAverage human cell1 billionth gram1 milliardth gram
10 nanograms10 ng10-8 gFine dust mote

100 nanograms100 ng10-7 gSmall grain of sand

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1 microgram1 ug10-6 gHuman egg cell1 millionth gram1 millionth gram
10 micrograms10 ug10-5 gMinimum DNA evidence for ID

100 microgram100 ug10-4 gPhono stylus diamond

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1 milligram1 mg10-3 gFruit fly1 thousandth gram1 thousandth gram
1 centigram1 cg10-2 gHousefly1 hundredth gram1 hundredth gram
1 decigram1 dg10-1 gHalf carat diamond, honeybee1 tenth gram1 tenth gram
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1 gram1 g100 gPaper clip1 gram1 gram
1 dekagram1 Dg (or dkg)101 gPencil10 grams10 grams
1 hectogram1 Hg102 gDVD in its case100 grams100 grams
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1 kilogram1 Kg103 gPair of shoes1 thousand grams1 thousand grams
1 myriagram1 Myg = 10 Kg104 gHome computer, shot put10 thousand grams10 thousand grams
100 kilogram100 Kg105 gAdult human

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1 megagram1 Mg106 gSmall car1 million grams1 million grams
10 megagrams10 Mg107 gSchool bus

100 megagrams100 Mg108 gHouse

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1 gigagram1 Gg109 gSpace shuttle ready to launch1 billion grams1 milliard grams
10 gigagrams10 Gg1010 gLeaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower

100 gigagram100 Gg1011 gEmpire State Building

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1 teragram1 Tg1012 gGolden Gate Bridge1 trillion grams1 billion grams
10 teragrams10 Tg1013 gHoover Dam

100 teragrams100 Tg1014 gApophis (asteroid)

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1 petagram1 Pg1015 gGeographos (asteroid)1 quadrillion grams1 billiard grams
10 petagrams10 Pg1016 gHalley's Comet

100 petagrams100 Pg1017 gComet Tempel

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1 exagram1 Eg1018 gDeimos (Mars moon)1 quintillion grams1 trillion grams
10 exagrams10 Eg1019 gPhobos (Mars moon)

100 exagrams100 Eg1020 gEros (Asteroid), Pandora (Saturn moon)

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1 zettagram1 Zg1021 gAmalthea (Jupiter moon)1 sextillion grams1 trilliard grams
10 zettagrams10 Zg1022 gPhoebe (Saturn moon)

100 zettagrams100 Zg1023 gEnceladus (Saturn moon)

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1 yottagram1 Yg1024 gDione (Saturn moon)1 septillion grams1 quadrillion grams
10 yottagrams10 Yg1025 gMoon (Earth moon), Pluto (dwarf planet)

100 yottagrams100 Yg1026 gMercury (planet), Ganymede (Jupiter moon)

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1000 yottagrams1000 Yg1027 gMars (planet)1 octillion grams1 quadrilliard grams
10000 yottagrams10000 Yg1028 gEarth (planet)

100000 yottagrams100000 Yg1029 gNeptune (planet)

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THE METRIC PREFIXES APPLIED TO THE SECOND, WITH EXAMPLES


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nameprefix10xexampleU.S. - Short ScaleEurope - Long Scale
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1 yoctosecond1 ys10-24 sQuark emits a gluon1 septillionth second1 quadrillionth second
10 yoctoseconds10 ys10-23 s(no known item)

100 yoctoseconds100 ys10-22 s(no known item)

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1 zeptosecond1 zs10-21 sMean lifetime of Higgs boson1 sextillionth second1 trilliardth second
10 zeptoseconds10 zs10-20 sOne cycle of a gamma ray

100 zeptoseconds100 zs10-19 sOne cycle, middle of X-ray band

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1 attosecond1 as10-18 sTwice the mean lifetime of the eta particle1 quintillionth second1 trillionth second
10 attoseconds10 as10-17 sShortest event time ever measured

100 attoseconds100 as10-16 sMean lifetime of neutral pion

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1 femtosecond1 fs10-15 sOne cycle of near ultraviolet light1 quadrillionth second1 billiardth second
10 femtoseconds10 fs10-14 sOne cycle of infrared light

100 femtoseconds100 fs10-13 sVery fast two-atom chemical reaction

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1 picosecond1 ps10-12 sFastest transistor switching time1 trillionth second1 billionth second
10 picoseconds10 ps10-11 sLight travels about 3 millimeters

100 picoseconds100 ps10-10 sTime accuracy of GPS signals

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1 nanosecond1 ns10-9 sAverage time for one computer instruction1 billionth second1 milliardth second
10 nanoseconds10 ns10-8 sOne generation in a fission chain reaction

100 nanoseconds100 ns10-7 sTotal time of nuclear bomb fission

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1 microsecond1 us10-6 sOne cycle of an AM-band radio signal1 millionth second1 millionth second
10 microseconds10 us10-5 sLight travels 3 kilometers

100 microsecond100 us10-4 sLondon Stock Exchange executes one trade

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1 millisecond1 ms10-3 sDuration of electronic photography flash1 thousandth second1 thousandth second
1 centisecond1 cs10-2 sComplete bumblebee wing flap1 hundredth second1 hundredth second
1 decisecond1 ds10-1 sComplete giant hummingbird wing flap1 tenth second1 tenth second
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1 second1 s100 sAverage human heartbeat1 second1 second
1 dekasecond1 Ds (or dks)101 sSound travels 2 miles10 seconds10 seconds
1 hectosecond1 Hs102 sAverage time of a news story on TV100 seconds100 seconds
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1 kilosecond1 Ks103 sTime for light to cross Jupiter's orbit1 thousand seconds1 thousand seconds
1 myriasecond1 Myg = 10 Ks104 sTV Prime time, minus trips to the kitchen10 thousand seconds10 thousand seconds
100 kilosecond100 Ks105 sOne day and part of another

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1 megasecond1 Ms106 s2-week vacation1 million seconds1 million seconds
10 megaseconds10 Ms107 sCollege semester

100 megaseconds100 Ms108 sA little over 3 years

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1 gigasecond1 Gs109 sHalf an average human lifetime1 billion seconds1 milliard seconds
10 gigaseconds10 Gs1010 s3 centuries

100 gigasecond100 Gs1011 sTime since King David ruled Israel

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1 terasecond1 Ts1012 sLight we see left the center of the Milky Way1 trillion seconds1 billion seconds
10 teraseconds10 Ts1013 sLight passes Milky Way & Magellanic Clouds

100 teraseconds100 Ts1014 sLight we see left the Triangulum galaxy M33

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1 petasecond1 Ps1015 sHalf the time mammal species have existed1 quadrillion seconds1 billiard seconds
10 petaseconds10 Ps1016 sAge of sediment that became coal & oil

100 petaseconds100 Ps1017 sAge of the solar system

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1 exasecond1 Es1018 sOver twice the age of the universe1 quintillion seconds1 trillion seconds
10 exaseconds10 Es1019 s(Longer than anything known)

100 exaseconds100 Es1020 s-

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1 zettasecond1 Zs1021 s-1 sextillion seconds1 trilliard seconds
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1 yottasecond1 Ys1024 s-1 septillion seconds1 quadrillion seconds
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THE METRIC PREFIXES APPLIED TO THE ITEM, WITH EXAMPLES


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nameprefix10xexampleU.S. - Short ScaleEurope - Long Scale
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1 item1100Number of planets humans live on1 item1 item
1 dekaitem1 D (or dk)101Hot dogs in a package10 items10 items
1 hectoitem1 H102Useful chemical elements100 items100 items
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1 kiloitem1 K103One grand (money)1 thousand items1 thousand items
1 myriaitem1 Myg = 10 K104Lakes (in the Minnesota ad)10 thousand items10 thousand items
100 kiloitem100 K105Known organic compounds

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1 megaitem1 M106Paper clips used in one day1 million items1 million items
10 megaitem10 M107Species in the world

100 megaitem100 M108Asteroids over 100 m long in solar system

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1 gigaitem1 G109Number of working cars in the world1 billion items1 milliard items
10 gigaitem10 G1010World Population

100 gigaitem100 G1011Half the stars in the Milky Way

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1 teraitem1 T1012Size of US federal budget (dollars)1 trillion items1 billion items
10 teraitem10 T1013US Money Supply (dollars)

100 teraitem100 T1014World money supply (dollars)

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1 petaitem1 P1015Estimated possibilities on a billiards table1 quadrillion items1 billiard items
10 petaitem10 P1016Wheat grains on square 64 of vizier's chessboard*

100 petaitem100 P1017Ants in the world

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1 exaitem1 E1018Electrons per second at 1/6 ampere1 quintillion items1 trillion items
10 exaitem10 E1019Grains of sand in the world

100 exaitem100 E1020Estimated number of giant stars in universe

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1 zettaitem1 Z1021Annual world energy consumption (joules)1 sextillion items1 trilliard items
10 zettaitem10 Z1022Cosmic rays ≥ 1 GeV striking earth in 3 minutes

100 zettaitem100 Z1023Estimated number of stars in the universe

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1 yottaitem1 Y1024Total bacteria in all human beings in world1 septillion items1 quadrillion items
10 yottaitem10 Y1025Atoms in 20 grams of hydrogen

100 yottaitem100 Y1026Atoms in 2 kilograms of water

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Even bigger numbers:


There are 8.68 * 1036 possible finishing orders for 33 cars in the Indianapolis 500. The exact number:
8,683,317,618,811,886,495,518,194,401,280,000,000.

There are 1.33 * 1050 atoms in the earth. The exact number is not known.

There are 1.19 * 1057 atoms in the sun. The exact number is not known.

If it were fair, there would be 126 * 1087 finishing orders for 64 NCAA Basketball Tourney teams. The exact number:
126,886,932,185,884,164,103,433,389,335,161,480,802,865,516,174,545,192,198,801,894,375,214,704,230,400,000,000,000,000

But because of an unfair bracket system, there are only 18.4 * 1018 NCAA Basketball possibilities. The exact number:
18,446,744,073,709,551,616


* In this story, the prince owed the vizier some money. He said he would settle for some grains of wheat. Put one grain on the first square of the board, two on the second, four on the third, etc., each square getting double the number of grains on the previous square. The prince was to give the vizier all of the grains on the board.
The total is 264 - 1, or 18,446,744,073,709,551,615.


The Metric System

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