What is kilo, mega, giga, tera ... ?

In the Metric mechanism there space standard methods to talk about huge and small numbers:

"kilo" because that a thousand, "mega" because that a million, and an ext ...

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Example: A long rope procedures one thousand meters

It is much easier to to speak it is 1 kilometer long,

and even easier to write it under as 1 km.

You are watching: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000


So we provided kilo in prior of the word meter to make "kilometer".

And the abbreviation is "km" (k because that kilo and m because that meter, placed together).

Some an ext examples:


Example: You placed your bag ~ above a collection of scales and also it shows 2000 grams, us can contact that 2 kilograms, or simply 2 kg.


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Example: Teaspoon

A teaspoon hold 5 thousandths the a liter (51000 of a liter), but it is much better to speak "5 milliliters", or create it just as 5 mL.


So, using the prefix "milli" in front of "liter" creates a brand-new word "milliliter".

Here us list the prefix for commonly used big and small numbers:

Common big and tiny Numbers


NameThe NumberPrefixSymbol
trillion 1,000,000,000,000 tera T
billion 1,000,000,000 giga G
million 1,000,000 mega M
thousand 1,000 kilo k
hundred 100 hecto h
ten 10 deka da
unit 1
tenth 0.1 deci d
hundredth 0.01 centi c
thousandth 0.001 milli m
millionth 0.000 001 micro µ
billionth 0.000 000 001 nano n
trillionth 0.000 000 000 001 pico p

Just remember for big values (each one a thousand times bigger):

"kilo mega giga tera"

and for little values (each one a thousand time smaller):

"milli micro nano pico"


Try To do Some Yourself!

exactly how do you refer to a million liters? How about one billionth the a meter?

See the bottom the this web page for more questions to an obstacle yourself ...

How large Are They?

There is a many difference in between them. Think in regards to time:


A longer list:

A thousand secs is around a quarter of one hour A million secs is about 12 days A billion secs is around 32 years, practically half a lifetime A trillion seconds is about 32,000 years (the last Ice period finished 12,000 years ago)

Much Bigger and Smaller

There are likewise prefixes for lot bigger and also smaller numbers:

Some very Big, and also Very small Numbers


NameThe NumberPrefixSymbol
Very large !
septillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 yotta Y
sextillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 zetta Z
quintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 exa E
quadrillion 1,000,000,000,000,000 peta P
Very tiny !
quadrillionth 0.000 000 000 000 001 femto f
quintillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 001 atto a
sextillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001 zepto z
septillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001 yocto y

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Also seeLengths From an extremely Smallto really Large

All huge Numbers we Know


NameAs a strength of 10As a Decimal
Thousand 103 1,000
Million 106 1,000,000
Billion 109 1,000,000,000
Trillion 1012 1,000,000,000,000
Quadrillion 1015 etc ...
Quintillion 1018
Sextillion 1021
Septillion 1024
Octillion 1027
Nonillion 1030
Decillion 1033
Undecillion 1036
Duodecillion 1039
Tredecillion 1042
Quattuordecillion 1045
Quindecillion 1048
Sexdecillion 1051
Septemdecillion 1054
Octodecillion 1057
Novemdecillion 1060
Vigintillion 1063 1 followed by 63 zeros!

And a Googol is 1 complied with by one hundred zeros (10100) :

10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Then there is the Googolplex. That is 1 complied with by Googol zeros. I can"t also write down the number, due to the fact that there is not enough matter in the world to kind all the zeros:

10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, ... (Googol number of Zeros)

And a Googolplexian is a 1 complied with by Googolplex zeros. Wow.

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NameAs a strength of 10As a Decimal
thousandths 10-3 0.001
millionths 10-6 0.000 001
billionths 10-9 0.000 000 001
trillionths 10-12 etc ...
quadrillionths 10-15
quintillionths 10-18
sextillionths 10-21
septillionths 10-24
octillionths 10-27
nonillionths 10-30
decillionths 10-33
undecillionths 10-36
duodecillionths 10-39
tredecillionths 10-42
quattuordecillionths 10-45
quindecillionths 10-48
sexdecillionths 10-51
septemdecillionths 10-54
octodecillionths 10-57
novemdecillionths 10-60
vigintillionths 10-63