Simple question concerning conversion of units

frankfjf

This isn't an actual problem in my text so I won't be using the usual template to ask it, just a quick clarification question: According to a chart in my text, a micro is 10^-6. So if I had, say... 20 micrometers of something and wanted to convert to meters... wouldn't that just be 20E-6 meters?

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cepheid

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Exactly:

$$20 \ \mu\textrm{m} = 20 \times 10^{-6} \ \textrm{m}$$

Note that you shouldn't speak of "a" micro, because it's not a thing, it's just a prefix (a descriptor) that denotes 10^-6. In contrast, a micrometre is a thing (it's a unit of measure).

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