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Does Micro and a billionth mean the same thing?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by mklotz View Post
    A meter is 1000 millimeters so a micrometer (length) is 1000/1,000,000 = 0.001 millimeters. Some of the metric micrometers (tools) I've seen have vernier scales that permit reading to 0.001 millimeters.

    So, the word "micrometer" interpreted as a length is about what the (vernier) "micrometer" tool can measure.

    However, the derivation of the name is not a description of the lower limit of its measurement capability but rather a term foNoper its ability to measure very small lengths, as this quote from Wikipedia indicates...

    The word micrometer is a neoclassical coinage from Greek micros 'small', and metron 'measure'. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary says that English got it from French and that its first known appearance in English writing was in 1670. Neither the metre nor the micrometre (µm) nor the micrometer (device) as we know them today existed at that time.
    Nope. A metre is 1000 milimetres, so you can't link it to a micrometer however much you try. Where do you guys learn to spell?
    'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Richard P Wilson View Post

      Nope. A metre is 1000 milimetres, so you can't link it to a micrometer however much you try. Where do you guys learn to spell?
      I get the metre vs. meter but I have to ask that what distant island you are from if you spell milli as "mili"
      Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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      • #18
        Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
        What's always annoyed me is the use of the term "mil" plastic tarp mfg.'s paint coating thickness etc. use the term mil to indicate material thickness. Why not just say thousandths

        1 mil = .001 Special terminology for specific industries ??

        JL..............
        Oh it drives me nuts...

        My work is very heavy on coatings... Vacuum and plasma spray, and so I hear the term "mils" all the time. It us just now starting to not throw me off. Worst is when people use to to talk about distances. "Take 80 mil off that side."
        21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
        1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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        • #19
          Originally posted by The Metal Butcher View Post

          Oh it drives me nuts...

          My work is very heavy on coatings... Vacuum and plasma spray, and so I hear the term "mils" all the time. It us just now starting to not throw me off. Worst is when people use to to talk about distances. "Take 80 mil off that side."
          Hey..... you have to watch your language. Say that in the shop and someone is liable to say the machine dials only read in thousandths.

          JL..............

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          • #20
            Originally posted by MattiJ View Post

            I get the metre vs. meter but I have to ask that what distant island you are from if you spell milli as "mili"
            OK, OK mea culpa!
            'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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            • #21
              While we are at it, most people mispronounce "kilometer" as "kill-ah-met-er" and not the correct "kill-oh-meet-er". And it's often referred to as "kliks".

              https://english.stackexchange.com/qu...military-slang
              http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
              Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
              USA Maryland 21030

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              • #22
                Originally posted by PStechPaul View Post
                While we are at it, most people mispronounce "kilometer" as "kill-ah-met-er" and not the correct "kill-oh-meet-er". And it's often referred to as "kliks".
                That may well be true in the US but here in NZ we usually use the 'o' sound in kilometer. Kilometers may also be loosely called 'Kays' when speaking of distance and speed (Kmph, kilometers per hour).

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by PStechPaul View Post
                  While we are at it, most people mispronounce "kilometer" as "kill-ah-met-er" and not the correct "kill-oh-meet-er". And it's often referred to as "kliks".

                  https://english.stackexchange.com/qu...military-slang
                  I started stressing the first syllable 50 years ago when I learned in college physics that it is the scientifically preferred pronunciation, since that is consistent with all the other units. (I've never used a 10 mil-LIM-e-ter wrench.) The other pronunciation is still almost universal in the US, but it seems that both are used in the UK, at least judging by commentary of international sporting events. The "correct" pronunciation is common everywhere that English isn't the dominant language. Of course your unlikely to be misunderstood either way.

                  As for micrometer/micrometre I pronounce the name of the instrument mi-CRO-me-ter, and the length unit MI-cro-me-ter.

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                  • #24
                    NIST website:

                    https://www.nist.gov/pml/weights-and...ic-si-prefixes

                    It clearly shows that when used with ANY unit of measure, "milli" means "thousandth", "kilo" means "thousand", "micro" means "millionth", and "mega" means "million".

                    That is the official, proper usage and it applies to both English and metric units of measure. And, as far as I know, it is used in scientific literature for all countries. I would guess that some languages may have different words for them, but in scientific circles, the translation should be exact.

                    I am not sure, but I believe that "million" means 1,000,000 on both sides of the puddle. I have heard that usage in England (1,000,000,000,000 or a million-million) for "billion" may differ from that in the US (1,000,000,000 or a thousand-million). But I also have seen that since 1974 the English government has been using the US meaning for that word.

                    I know that there are other meanings for various terms. These are colloquial or or limited to a certain area of measurement. "Mill" is the first four letters of both "million" and "millionth". Confusion? Yes. That is why agencies like NIST go to such trouble to publish the standard meaning for these terms.

                    "Mil", with one "l" is used to mean 1/1000 in a number of areas. Both in verbal pronunciation and written form, it is distinguished from "mille". This is another of those "for better or worse" things and we simply must live with it.

                    MattiJ said, "Like 1Mf capacitor and 1 meg(ohm) resistor" The units for capacitors, when most commonly and PROPERLY written are mF, uF, nF, and pF. I included the "mF" for one millionth of a Farad but on schematic drawings, when a unit is even shown, it is usually (99%) shown as "uF". Both "mF" and "mmF" are older usage and I have not seen them on schematic drawings for over 50 years now. Small letters are used for the prefixes and capitols for the basic unit, Farads. Resistors are another story and, for better or worse, the small "m" is often used instead of the more proper capital "M". This does not cause much confusion because a 1/1000 Ohm resistor would be VERY rare. That is basically a relatively short length of wire of a specific size, not an actual component that is soldered into the circuit.

                    For a bit more on resistors, another convention that is used today is to insert the capitol letters "R", "K", and "M" in the numeric value in the place where a decimal point would be. So "1R5" would be 1.5 Ohms and "10K7" would be 10.7 kiloOhms. This has the advantage of making the location of the decimal point very obvious. The decimal point (".") could get lost on a schematic after some use or if it fell on a crease in the paper.
                    Paul A.
                    SE Texas

                    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                    You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post

                      That may well be true in the US but here in NZ we usually use the 'o' sound in kilometer. Kilometers may also be loosely called 'Kays' when speaking of distance and speed (Kmph, kilometers per hour).
                      Unfortunately that is true, John, but some of us old fogies still fight the good fight by stressing the first syllable in "kilometre", not the second, just as we stick to the traditional spelling.

                      Mercifully, no-one yet says "kilOhertz" or "kilOgram".

                      The internationally accepted prefixes for the metric system are:

                      For less than unity: x10-1 deci; x10-2 centi; x10-3 milli; x10-6 micro; x10-9 nano; x10-12 pico; x10-15 femto; x10-18 atto.

                      For more than unity: x10 deca; x102 hecto; x103 kilo; x106 mega; x109 giga; x1012 tera; x1015 peta

                      All the symbols for these prefixes should be written in lower case except mega, giga, tera and peta (M, G, T and P respectively).

                      µ (the Greek letter mu) is the actual symbol for "micro", but as that does not appear on a qwerty keyboard the lower case "u" is normally used instead, for example, uF for microfarad. The other prefixes all use the first letter of their names, except for deca, which is "da" to distinguish is from deci ("d").

                      Those physical units which are named after early pioneers in that particular scientific field (the volt, the ohm, the ampere, the hertz, etc) capitalise the first letter of the name when abbreviated. The gives rise to the slightly odd situation that the kilohertz is properly abbreviated kHz, but the megahertz is MHz.

                      Cocacolanisation has meant that "billion" is nowadays accepted world-wide as meaning a thousand million, i.e., one giga-whatever, rather than the old British idea of a million million. Likewise, the trillion has shrunk to what a British billion used to be.

                      Oh, and a "micrometre"—0.001mm— is usually just a "micron".
                      Last edited by Mike Burch; 07-26-2021, 03:29 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by mklotz View Post
                        The word micrometer is a neoclassical coinage from Greek micros 'small', and metron 'measure
                        Kind of funyy. I dont know anythin. You doo

                        You said the same thing I said days ago, Odd JR

                        "The word micrometer is a neoclassical coinage from Greek micros 'small', and metron 'measure"

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by lynnl View Post
                          Isn't "mili" = 1/1,000 , as in miligram, and "kilo"=1,000 as in kilogram?
                          If yor are selling Coke then yes.

                          A key needs to be one kilo gram.. If its short there wull be issus.

                          Its usually over with a key so its all is good. No one has to Die...

                          LoL, yes they do.. Just the way it is,,, , JR

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                          • #28
                            Metric is superior but I like the absurdity of the imperial system. Well, actually, what I was brainwashed with first.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by The Metal Butcher View Post

                              Oh it drives me nuts...

                              My work is very heavy on coatings... Vacuum and plasma spray, and so I hear the term "mils" all the time. It us just now starting to not throw me off. Worst is when people use to to talk about distances. "Take 80 mil off that side."
                              What drives me nuts is people who don't know the prefixes or the decimal places. I suppose I was lucky, I was an electronics geek in HS back in the 1980's. So that's how I learned it all. But now it's 2021 and I still get to deal with people who have no idea. I'm not a lover of the metric system *at all* but at least I understand it for scientific purposes.
                              25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                              • #30
                                Open the box your micrometer comes in. It will usually say measurements are in thousands of an inch and not mills. Engineers have corrupted this in the shop. However the Sodic CNC EDM machine I ran used milliradians for head angles. 17.777 mils = 1 degree.

                                Fun haw ?
                                Last edited by Fasturn; 07-26-2021, 11:21 PM.

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