Nano-
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Nano-

Nano (symbol n) is a unit prefix meaning "one billionth". Used primarily with the metric system, this prefix denotes a factor of 10-9 or 0.000000001. It is frequently encountered in science and electronics for prefixing units of time and length.

Examples
  • One nanometer is about the length that a fingernail grows in one second.
  • Three gold atoms lined up are about one nanometer long.
  • If a toy marble were scaled down to one nanometer wide, Earth would scale to about 1 meter (3.3 ft) wide.[1]
  • One nanosecond is about the time required for light to travel 30 cm in air, or 20 cm in an optical fiber.

The prefix derives from the Greek (Latin nanus), meaning "dwarf". The General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) officially endorsed the usage of nano as a standard prefix in 1960.

When used as a prefix for something other than a unit of measure (as for example in words like "nanoscience"), nano refers to nanotechnology, or means "on a scale of nanometres".

SI prefixes
Prefix Base 10 Decimal English word Adoption[nb 1] Etymology
Name Symbol Short scale Long scale Language Derived word
yotta Y  1024 1000000000000000000000000  septillion  quadrillion 1991 Greek eight[nb 2]
zetta Z  1021 1000000000000000000000  sextillion  trilliard 1991 Latin seven[nb 2]
exa E  1018 1000000000000000000  quintillion  trillion 1975 Greek six
peta P  1015 1000000000000000  quadrillion  billiard 1975 Greek five[nb 2]
tera T  1012 1000000000000  trillion  billion 1960 Greek four[nb 2], monster
giga G  109 1000000000  billion  milliard 1960 Greek giant
mega M  106 1000000  million 1873 Greek great
kilo k  103 1000  thousand 1795 Greek thousand
hecto h  102 100  hundred 1795 Greek hundred
deca da  101 10  ten 1795 Greek ten
 100 1  one -
deci d  10-1 0.1  tenth 1795 Latin ten
centi c  10-2 0.01  hundredth 1795 Latin hundred
milli m  10-3 0.001  thousandth 1795 Latin thousand
micro ?  10-6 0.000001  millionth 1873 Greek small
nano n  10-9 0.000000001  billionth  milliardth 1960 Greek dwarf
pico p  10-12 0.000000000001  trillionth  billionth 1960 Spanish peak, beak, little bit
femto f  10-15 0.000000000000001  quadrillionth  billiardth 1964 Danish fifteen
atto a  10-18 0.000000000000000001  quintillionth  trillionth 1964 Danish eighteen
zepto z  10-21 0.000000000000000000001  sextillionth  trilliardth 1991 Latin seven[nb 2]
yocto y  10-24  0.000000000000000000000001  septillionth  quadrillionth 1991 Greek eight[nb 2]
  1. ^ Prefixes adopted before 1960 already existed before SI. The introduction of the CGS system was in 1873.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Part of the beginning of the prefix was modified from the word it was derived from, ex: "peta" (prefix) vs "penta" (derived word).

See also

References

  1. ^ "Size of the Nanoscale". National Nanotechnology Initiative. Retrieved .

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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