## A virus has a diameter of 5.2×10−8m. What is the most appropriate prefix for reporting the diameter of the virus?

Question

A virus has a diameter of 5.2×10−8m. What is the most appropriate prefix for reporting the diameter of the virus?

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1 month 2021-08-02T19:09:19+00:00 1 Answers 11 views 0

5.2 centimicro meter or 5.2 cμm

Explanation:

Prefixes allow scientists report numbers logically depending on the order of the magnitude of the numbers. For example to represent 4 x 10⁻³m, it is more handy to say : 4 millimetre, where milli- is the prefix for 10⁻³.

Common prefixes are:

deci = 10⁻¹                     deca = 10¹

centi = 10⁻²                   hecto = 10²

milli  = 10⁻³                    kilo  = 10³

micro = 10⁻⁶                  mega = 10⁶

nano = 10⁻⁹                   giga = 10⁹

pico = 10⁻¹²                   terra = 10¹²

femto = 10⁻¹⁵                peta = 10¹⁵

Now, let’s represent the given diameter: 5.2 x 10⁻⁸ m

Since the 10⁻⁸ prefix is not common (or maybe doesn’t even exist), the way around this is to break it into bits such as:

10⁻⁸ = 10⁻² x 10⁻⁶           [10⁻² = centi,  10⁻⁶ = micro ]

10⁻⁸ = centimicro

Therefore, 5.2 x 10⁻⁸ m becomes 5.2 centimicro meter.

The symbol is 5.2 cμm

Where c = centi, μ = micro.