Orders of magnitude (time)

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An order of magnitude describes the link between two amounts. The difference between each step is usually 10, with each order being either 10 times greater or 10 times smaller than the next amount. This makes the scale easy to manipulate using logarithms. For time, the difference between the smallest limit of time, the Planck time, and the next order of magnitude is larger than 10.

Seconds[change | change source]

Orders of magnitude (time)
Factor (s) Multiple Symbol Definition Comparative examples & common units Orders of magnitude
10−60 1 icososecond is Icososecond is one novemdecillionth of a second. 10−60 s
10−57 1 ennecosecond es Ennecosecond is one octodecillionth of a second. 10−57 s
10−54 1 octecosecond os Octecosecond is one septendecillionth of a second. 10−54 s
10−51 1 heptecosecond hps Heptecosecond is one sexdecillionth of a second. 10−51 s
10−48 1 hexecosecond hxs Hexecosecond is one quindecillionth of a second. 10−48 s
10−45 1 pentecosecond pcs Pentecosecond is one quattuordecillionth of a second. 10−45 s
10−44 1 planck time tP Planck time is the unit of time of the natural units system known as Planck units. The shortest length of time that can be described by physics. ≈ 5.4×10−44 s. (≈ meaning about) 10−44 s
10−42 1 tetrecosecond trcs Tetrecosecond is one tredecillionth of a second. 10−42 s
10−39 1 trecosecond tcs Trecosecond is one duodecillionth of a second. 10−39 s
10−36 1 duecosecond dcs Duecosecond is one undecillionth of a second. 10−36 s
10−33 1 mecosecond mcs Mecosecond is one decillionth of a second. 10−33 s
10−30 1 vecosecond vs Vecosecond is one nonillionth of a second. 10−30 s
10−27 1 xonosecond xs Xonosecond is one octillionth of a second. 10−27 s
10−24 1 yoctosecond ys[1] Yoctosecond, (yocto + second), is one quadrillionth (in the long scale) or one septillionth (in the short scale) of a second. 0.3 ys: mean life of the W and Z bosons.[source?]
1 ys: time for top quark decay.[source?]
1 ys: time taken for a quark to emit a gluon.
91 ys: half-life of lithium-4.[source?]
1 ys and less, 10 ys, 100 ys
10−21 1 zeptosecond zs Zeptosecond, (zepto + second), is one sextillionth of a second. 7 zs: half-life of helium-9's outer neutron in the second nuclear halo.
17 zs: approximate period of electromagnetic radiation at the boundary between gamma rays and X-rays.
300 zs: approximate typical cycle time of X-rays, on the boundary between hard and soft X-rays
1 zs, 10 zs, 100 zs
10−18 1 attosecond as Attosecond is one quintillionth of a second. 100 attoseconds: shortest measured period of time.[2][3] 1 as, 10 as, 100 as
10−15 1 femtosecond fs Femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second. cycle time for 390 nanometre light, transition from visible light to ultraviolet 1 fs, 10 fs, 100 fs
10−12 1 picosecond ps Picosecond is one trillionth of a second. 1 ps: half-life of a bottom quark
4 ps: Time to execute one machine cycle by an IBM Silicon-Germanium transistor (supercomputer)
1 ps, 10 ps, 100 ps
10−9 1 nanosecond ns Nanosecond is one billionth of a second. 1 ns: Time to execute one machine cycle by an Intel Pentium 4 1 GHz microprocessor
1 ns: Light travels 12 inches (30 cm)
1,000,000,000 nanoseconds: 1 second
1 ns, 10 ns, 100 ns
10−6 1 microsecond µs Microsecond is one millionth of a second. sometimes also abbreviated µsec
1 µs: Time to execute one machine cycle by an Intel 80186 microprocessor
4-16 µs: Time to execute one machine cycle by an older minicomputer
1 µs, 10 µs, 100 µs
10−3 1 millisecond ms Millisecond is one thousandth of a second. 50-80 ms: The time taken to blink an eye 1 ms, 10 ms, 100 ms
10−2 1 centisecond cs Centisecond is one hundredth of a second.
10−1 1 decisecond ds Decisecond is one tenth of a second.
100 1 second s 1 s: "One Mississippi" said aloud
60 s: 1 minute
1 s, 10 s, 100 s
101 1 decasecond
(10 seconds)
das Decasecond is ten seconds.
102 1 hectosecond
(1.67 minutes)
hs Hectosecond is one hundred seconds.
103 1 kilosecond
(16.7 minutes)
ks Kilosecond is one thousand seconds. 3.6 ks: 3600 s or 1 hour
86.4 ks: 86 400 s or 1 day
604.8 ks: 1 week
103 s, 104 s, 105 s
106 1 megasecond
(11.6 days)
Ms Megasecond is one million seconds. month = 2.6 x 106 s
year = 31.6 Ms = 107.50 s ≈ π x 107 s
106 s, 107 s, 108 s
109 1 gigasecond
(31.7 years)
Gs Gigasecond is one billion seconds. century = 3.16 Gs ≈ π×109 s
millennium = 31.6 Gs ≈ π×1010 s
109 s, 1010 s, 1011 s
1012 1 terasecond
(31 700 years)
Ts Terasecond is one trillion seconds. eon = 31.6 Ts ≈ π×1013 s 1012 s, 1013 s, 1014 s
1015 1 petasecond
(31.7 million years)
Ps Petasecond is one quadrillion seconds. aeon = 31.6 Ps ≈ π×1016 s
435 Ps = 4.35×1017 s ≈ 13.8 billion years, the approximate age of the Universe
1015 s, 1016 s, 1017 s
1018 1 exasecond
(31.7 billion years)
Es Exasecond is one quintillion seconds. 0.43 Es ≈ the best estimate of the age of the Universe 1018 s, 1019 s, 1020 s
1021 1 zettasecond
(31.7 trillion years)
Zs Zettasecond is one sextillion seconds. 1021 s, 1022 s, 1023 s
1024 1 yottasecond
(31.7 quadrillion years)
Ys Yottasecond is one septillion seconds. 1024 s, 1025 s, 1026 s and more
1027 1 xennasecond
(31.7 quintillion years)
Xs Xennasecond is one octillion seconds. 1027 s, 1028 s, 1029 s and more
1030 1 dakasecond
(31.7 sextillion years)
Das Dakasecond is one nonillion seconds. 1030 s, 1031 s, 1032 s and more
1033 1 hendasecond
(31.7 septillion years)
Hs Hendasecond is one decillion seconds. 1033 s, 1034 s, 1035 s and more
1036 1 dokasecond
(31.7 octillion years)
Dos Dokasecond is one undecillion seconds. 1036 s, 1037 s, 1038 s and more
1039 1 tradakasecond
(31.7 nonillion years)
Tds Tradakasecond is one duodecillion seconds. 1039 s, 1040 s, 1041 s and more
1042 1 tedakasecond
(31.7 decillion years)
Teds Tedakasecond is one tredecillion seconds. 1042 s, 1043 s, 1044 s and more
1045 1 pedakasecond
(31.7 undecillion years)
Pds Pedakasecond is one quattuordecillion seconds. 1045 s, 1046 s, 1047 s and more
1048 1 exdakasecond
(31.7 duodecillion years)
Eds Exdakasecond is one quindecillion seconds. 1048 s, 1049 s, 1050 s and more
1051 1 zedakasecond
(31.7 tredecillion years)
Zds Zedakasecond is one sexdecillion seconds. 1051 s, 1052 s, 1053 s and more
1054 1 yodakasecond
(31.7 quattuordecillion years)
Yds Yodakasecond is one septendecillion seconds. 1054 s, 1055 s, 1056 s and more
1057 1 nedakasecond
(31.7 quindecillion years)
Nds Nedakasecond is one octodecillion seconds. 1057 s, 1058 s, 1059 s and more
1060 1 ikasecond
(31.7 sexdecillion years)
Iks Ikasecond is one novemdecillion seconds. 1060 s, 1061 s, 1062 s and more

Years[change | change source]

Orders of magnitude (time)
Factor (a) Multiple common units orders of magnitude
10−50 Planck time, the shortest physically meaningful interval of time ≈ 1.71×10−50 a 10−50 a
10−24 1 yoctoannum -- 1 ya and less, 10 ya, 100 ya
10−21 1 zeptoannum -- 1 za, 10 za, 100 za
10−18 1 attoannum -- 1 aa, 10 aa, 100 aa
10−15 1 femtoannum -- 1 fa, 10 fa, 100 fa
10−12 1 picoannum -- 1 pa, 10 pa, 100 pa
10−9 1 nanoannum 1 second = 3.17 × 10−8 a ≈ 10-7.50 a 1 na, 10 na, 100 na
10−6 1 microannum 1 minute = 1.90 × 10−6 a
1 hour = 1.40 × 10−4 a
1 ua, 10 ua, 100 ua
10−3 1 milliannum 1 day = 2.73 × 10−3 a
1 week = 1.91 × 10−2 a
1 ma, 10 ma, 100 ma
100 1 annum year = 1 annum
decade = 10 anna
century = 100 anna
1 a, 10 a, 100 a
103 1 kiloannum millennium = 1000 anna 103 a, 104 a, 105 a
106 1 megaannum epoch = 1,000,000 anna 106 a, 107 a, 108 a
109 1 gigaannum aeon = 1,000,000,000 anna
13.7 Ga = 1.37×1010 a ≈ 13.7 billion years, the approximate age of the Universe
109 a, 1010 a, 1011 a
1012 1 teraannum --- 1012 a, 1013 a, 1014 a
1015 1 petaannum --- 1015 a, 1016 a, 1017 a
1018 1 exaannum -- 1018 a, 1019 a, 1020 a
1021 1 zettaannum -- 1021 a, 1022 a, 1023 a
1024 1 yottaannum -- 1024 a, 1025 a, 1026 and more

References[change | change source]

  1. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. Available at: http://www.bartleby.com/61/21/Y0022100.html Archived 2008-03-10 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed December 19, 2007. note: abbr. ys or ysec
  2. "Shortest time interval measured". BBC News. 25 February 2004.
  3. "Fastest view of molecular motion". BBC News. 4 March 2006.