Nano
Encyclopedia
Nano- is a prefix
SI prefix
The International System of Units specifies a set of unit prefixes known as SI prefixes or metric prefixes. An SI prefix is a name that precedes a basic unit of measure to indicate a decadic multiple or fraction of the unit. Each prefix has a unique symbol that is prepended to the unit symbol...

meaning a billionth
Billionth
One billionth is the reciprocal of a billion, which means it has one of two definitions depending on whether the long scale or short scale definition is being used.-Short scale countries:...

. Used primarily in the metric system
Metric system
The metric system is an international decimalised system of measurement. France was first to adopt a metric system, in 1799, and a metric system is now the official system of measurement, used in almost every country in the world...

, this prefix denotes a factor of 10−9 or . It is frequently encountered in science and electronics for prefixing units of time and length, such as 30 nanosecond
Nanosecond
A nanosecond is one billionth of a second . One nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.7 years.The word nanosecond is formed by the prefix nano and the unit second. Its symbol is ns....

s (symbol ns), 100 nanometre
Nanometre
A nanometre is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre. The name combines the SI prefix nano- with the parent unit name metre .The nanometre is often used to express dimensions on the atomic scale: the diameter...

s (nm) or in the case of electrical capacitance, 100 nanofarad
The farad is the SI unit of capacitance. The unit is named after the English physicist Michael Faraday.- Definition :A farad is the charge in coulombs which a capacitor will accept for the potential across it to change 1 volt. A coulomb is 1 ampere second...

s (nF).

The prefix is derived from the Greek , meaning "dwarf", and was officially confirmed as standard in 1960.

In the United States, the use of the nano prefix for the farad
The farad is the SI unit of capacitance. The unit is named after the English physicist Michael Faraday.- Definition :A farad is the charge in coulombs which a capacitor will accept for the potential across it to change 1 volt. A coulomb is 1 ampere second...

unit of electrical capacitance is uncommon; capacitors of that size are more often expressed in terms of a small fraction of a microfarad or a large number of picofarads.

When used as a prefix for something other than a unit of measure, as in "nanoscience", nano means relating to nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

, or on a scale of nanometres. See nanoscopic scale
Nanoscopic scale
The nanoscopic scale usually refers to structures with a length scale applicable to nanotechnology, usually cited as 1-100 nanometers. The nanoscopic scale is a lower bound to the mesoscopic scale for most solids....

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