What are metric prefixes?

Metric prefixes are the symbols or letters used before the metric unit. The main use of metric prefix is to write the numerical value in a convenient way.

Metric prefixes are almost used when the numeric value is very high or very less.

Prefix
Symbol Prefix Value
yotta Y 1024
zetta Z 1021
exa E 1018
peta P 1015
tera T 1012
giga G 109
mega M 106
kilo k 103
hecto h 102
deca da 101
100
deci d 10-1
centi c 10-2
milli m 10-3
micro 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

Metric Prefixes Examples :

Youngs Modulus = 210 Mpa

Wave length = 10 μm

Diameter = 10 mm or 1 cm

Don’t confuse with unit “mm” since the first “m” is metric prefix (milli) and the second “m” is SI unit (meter).

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