After Centimeters and Millimeters, here are Quectometres and Ronametres!

No more finding fancy new units for more extreme measurements.

As its name suggests, the International System of Units, or SI for short, is the measurement standard used almost everywhere on the planet, with a few exceptions. On a day-to-day basis, common people mainly use units like litres, centimeters or kilograms. But there are plenty that are very useful for engineers, scientists and other technical professions.

At the top of this scale is the prefix yota-; It corresponds to a quadrillion in the long scale used in France, i.e. 1024 (a 1 followed by 24 zeros), or one million billion billion. By comparison, the radius of the visible universe (at distance) is estimated to be about 435 yotameters.

On the other hand, we find the prefix yokto (10).-24), which may also be called a quadrillion or one millionth of a billion. This is an absolutely tiny distance, about a trillion times smaller than a hydrogen atom. They are commonly used to describe the mass of subatomic particles; For example a neutron has mass 1.67 yoctograms.

A very comprehensive scale, but still insufficient

Adopted in 1991, these prefixes seem so radical that one might think they will be sufficient to shape all scientific work until the end of time. Nevertheless, researchers and engineers continue to develop methods and devices that require ever-increasing numbers.

So some are starting to get bogged down by the current units. This is especially true computer and Data science; Currently, these are the only sectors that require additional units. In fact, some architectures that work in hosting or data processing already think in terms of yotabytes.

For some years now, many of them have been calling for the introduction of a new unit status in the international system. Their wish was finally granted on the 27th General Assembly of Weights and Measures, held last week at the Palace of Versailles; The community can now celebrate the arrival Four new prefixes.

© Benjamin Layman – Unsplash

From infinitely large to infinitely small

first two, Quetta- (1030or a quintillion on a longer scale) and purred- (1027, or a quintillion at length), rank 1st and 2nd, respectively, in this range of values. For now, they are definitely reserved for the computer world (and amateurs). Yo mom jokes bad taste).

But over time, they may find a niche in other fields that work with enormous numbers. One thinks of astronomy for example. For example, the contacted Published for the occasion by the National Physical Laboratory (the British agency that administers these standards on the other side of the Channel). The weight of the earth is about 6 ronogramsAnd Jupiter weighs about 2 kw.

On the other side of the spectrum are prefixes Quecto- and Rondo- (10-30 and 10-27 respectively). If we judge in terms of distance, it begins to approach popular scale Plank length (1.6×10-35), from which classical physics simply ceases to work. So these new units can be used in the context of basic research work focusing on infinitely small ones. They can be found, for example, in Einstein’s famous theory of everything studies that seek to make connections between relativity and quantum physics (see our Article)

With this new update, professionals will be armed for years to come.

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