Unit of Length

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## Metric system

### SI

### Non-SI

## Imperial/US

## Marine

## Aviation

## Surveying

## Science

### Astronomy

### Physics

## Archaic

## Informal

## Other

## See also

## References

## Further reading

This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Unit of Length

A **unit of length** refers to any arbitrarily chosen and accepted reference standard for measurement of length. The most common units in modern use are U.S. customary units in the United States and metric units elsewhere. British Imperial units are still used for some purposes in the United Kingdom and some other countries. The metric system is sub-divided into SI and non-SI units.^{[1]}^{[2]}^{[3]}

The base unit in the International System of Units (SI) is the metre, defined as "the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of seconds."^{[4]} It is approximately equal to . Other units are derived from the metre by adding prefixes from the table below:

Multiples | Prefix name | deca | hecto | kilo | mega | giga | tera | peta | exa | zetta | yotta | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Prefix symbol | da | h | k | M | G | T | P | E | Z | Y | ||

Factor | 10^{0} |
10^{1} |
10^{2} |
10^{3} |
10^{6} |
10^{9} |
10^{12} |
10^{15} |
10^{18} |
10^{21} |
10^{24} | |

Submultiples | Prefix name | deci | centi | milli | micro | nano | pico | femto | atto | zepto | yocto | |

Prefix symbol | d | c | m | ? | n | p | f | a | z | y | ||

Factor | 10^{0} |
10^{-1} |
10^{-2} |
10^{-3} |
10^{-6} |
10^{-9} |
10^{-12} |
10^{-15} |
10^{-18} |
10^{-21} |
10^{-24} |

For example, a kilometre is .

In the Centimetre-gram-second system of units, the basic unit of length is the centimetre, or of a metre. Other non-SI units are derived from decimal multiples of the metre.

Name | Symbol | SI value |
---|---|---|

fermi | fm | femtometre |

ångström | Å | 100 picometres |

micron | ?m | 1 micrometre |

Norwegian/Swedish mil or myriametre | 10,000 metres | |

x unit | xu | 0.1 picometre |

The basic unit of length in the Imperial and U.S. customary systems is the yard, defined as exactly by international treaty in 1959.^{[2]}^{[5]}

Common Imperial units and U.S. customary units of length include:^{[6]}

- thou or mil ( of an inch)
- line ( of an inch)
- inch
- foot (12 inches, 0.3048 m)
- yard (3 feet (0.91 m))
- (terrestrial) mile 5,280 feet (1,610 m)
- (land) league 3 miles (4,800 m)

In addition, the following are used by sailors:

- fathom (for depth; only in non-metric countries) (2 yards = 1.8288 m)
- nautical mile (one minute of arc of latitude = )

Aviators use feet for altitude worldwide (except in Russia and China) and nautical miles for distance.^{[]}

Surveyors in the United States continue to use:

Astronomical measure uses:

- Earth radius
`R`_{?}? 6,371 km^{[7]} - Lunar distance
*LD*? .^{[8]}Average distance between the center of Earth and the center of the Moon. - astronomical unit au. Defined as .
^{[9]}Approximately the distance between the Earth and Sun. - light-year ly ? . The distance that light travels in a vacuum in one Julian year.
^{[10]} - parsec pc ? or about
- Hubble length 14.4 billion light-years or 4.55 gigaparsecs

In atomic physics, sub-atomic physics, and cosmology, the preferred unit of length is often related to a chosen fundamental physical constant, or combination thereof. This is often a characteristic radius or wavelength of a particle. Some common natural units of length are included in this table:

Atomic property | Symbol | Length, in metres | Reference |
---|---|---|---|

The classical electron radius | r_{e} |
^{[11]} | |

The Compton wavelength of the electron | λ_{C} |
^{[11]} | |

The reduced Compton wavelength of the electron | λ_{C} |
^{[12]} | |

The Compton wavelength (or reduced Compton wavelength) of any fundamental particle | λ_{x} |
||

The Bohr radius of the hydrogen atom (Atomic unit of length) | a_{0} |
^{[11]} | |

The reduced wavelength of hydrogen radiation | 1 / R_{?} |
^{[11]} | |

The Planck length | ?_{P} |
^{[13]} | |

Stoney unit of length | l_{S} |
||

Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) unit of length | l_{QCD} |
||

Natural units based on the electronvolt | 1 eV^{-1} |

Archaic units of distance include:

- cana
- cubit
- rope
- league
- li (China)
- pace (the "double pace" of about 5 feet used in Ancient Rome)
- verst (Russia)

In everyday conversation, and in informal literature, it is common to see lengths measured in units of objects of which everyone knows the approximate width. Common examples are:

- Double-decker bus (9.5-11 metres in length)
- Football field (generally around 110 metres in length)
- Thickness of a human hair (around 80 micrometres)

Horse racing and other equestrian activities keep alive:

- furlong ? 0.125 miles (201 m)
- horse length ? 8 feet (2.4 m)

- List of examples of lengths
- List of unusual units of measurement § Length
- Medieval weights and measures
- Orders of magnitude (length)
- System of measurement
- Units of measurement

**^**Cardarelli, François (2003).*Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights, and Measures: Their SI Equivalences and Origins*. Springer. ISBN 9781852336820.- ^
^{a}^{b}Hinkelman, Edward G.; Sibylla Putzi (2005).*Dictionary Of International Trade: Handbook Of The Global Trade Community*. World Trade Press. p. 245. ISBN 9781885073723. **^**Judson, Lewis Van Hagen (1960).*Units of Weight and Measure (United States Customary and Metric): Definitions and Tables of Equivalents, Issue ,233*. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards. pp. 3-4. Retrieved 2012.**^**"17th General Conference on Weights and Measures (1983), Resolution 1". Retrieved .**^**Donald Fenna (26 October 2002).*A dictionary of weights, measures, and units*. Oxford University Press. pp. 130-1. ISBN 978-0-19-860522-5. Retrieved 2012.**^**Cardarelli 2003, pp. 29–30**^**Moritz, H. (March 2000). "Geodetic Reference System 1980".*Journal of Geodesy*.**74**(1): 128-133. Bibcode:2000JGeod..74..128.. doi:10.1007/s001900050278.**^**Battat, J. B. R.; Murphy, T. W.; Adelberger, E. G. (January 2009). "The Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation (APOLLO): Two Years of Millimeter-Precision Measurements of the Earth-Moon Range".*Astronomical Society of the Pacific*.**121**(875): 29-40. Bibcode:2009PASP..121...29B. doi:10.1086/596748. JSTOR 10.1086/596748.**^**Geoff Brumfiel (14 Sep 2012). "The astronomical unit gets fixed: Earth-Sun distance changes from slippery equation to single number". Retrieved 2012.**^***The IAU and astronomical units*, International Astronomical Union, retrieved- ^
^{a}^{b}^{c}^{d}Quinn, T.J.; Leschiutta, S.; Tavella, P. (August 2000).*Recent advances in metrology and fundamental constants*. Amsterdam ; Washington, DC: IOS Press, 2001. Proceedings of the International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi". pp. 142-143. **^**"Compton wavelength over 2 pi".*The NIST Reference on Constants, Units, and Uncertainty*. NIST. Retrieved 2012.**^**"Planck length".*The NIST Reference on Constants, Units, and Uncertainty*. NIST. Retrieved 2012.

- Whitelaw, Ian (2007).
*A Measure of All Things: The Story of Man and Measurement*. Macmillan. ISBN 9780312370268.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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