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How BIG is nano?
Macrosize

meters, decimeters, centimeters, millimeters

Child

Hand

Pi nk y Fi nger

100

A child is about 1 meter tall
1 meter = 1,000,000,000 nm
(1 billion nanometers)

Freck le

10-1

St rand o f Hai r

10-2

10-3

10-4

A hand is about 1 decimeter wide
A pinky finger is about
A freckle is about 1 millimeter wide
1 decimeter = 100,000,000 nm
1 centimeter wide
1 millimeter = 1,000,000 nm
(100 million nanometers)
1 centimeter = 10,000,000 nm
(1 million nanometers)
(10 million nanometers)

Microsize

A hair is about one tenth of a
millimeter wide
0.1 millimeter = 100,000 nm
(100 thousand nanometers)

Nanosize

micrometers

nanometers

Red Blood Cell

Bac t er i a

10-5

A red blood cell is about
10 micrometers wide
10 micrometers = 10,000 nm
(10 thousand nanometers)

Virus

10-6

A bacterium is about
1 micrometer wide
1 micrometer = 1,000 nm
(1 thousand nanometers)

Cell M em brane

10-7

A viron is about one tenth
of a micrometer wide
0.1 micrometer = 100 nm
(1 hundred nanometers)

Sugar M o l ecul e

10-8

A cell membrane is about
10 nanometers wide
10 nanometers = 10 nm

Atom

10-9

A sugar molecule is about
1 nanometer wide
1 nanometer = 1 nm

10-10

An atom is about one tenth
of a nanometer wide
0.1 nanometer = 0.1 nm

Created in 2008 by Sciencenter, Ithaca, NY, www.sciencenter.org
Accompanying book available for purchase at www.lulu.com
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Agreement No. ESI-0532536.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s)
and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.