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Small Numbers’ Names

Small numbers are written by scientists like this: 1.23*10-45. This means that you must move the decimal point 45 places to the left to get the correct number.

See the page Large Numbers for information on numbers greater than 1.

Some small numbers are used so often that scientists give them names. These names are part of the metric system. So millimeter is one thousandth part of a meter.

prefix

symbol

multiply by

deci

d

10-1

centi or cent

c

10-2

milli

m

10-3

micro or micr

µ

10-6

nano

n

10-9

pico

p

10-12

femto

f

10-15

atto

a

10-18

zepto

z

10-21

yocto

y

10-24

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