Common Metric Prefixes

Factor 
Name 
Symbol 
10^{9} 
giga

G

10^{6} 
mega

M

10^{3} 
kilo

k

10^{1} 
deci

d

10^{2} 
centi

c

10^{3} 
milli

m

10^{6} 
micro

μ

10^{9} 
nano

n

10^{12} 
pico

p

Given below is an expanded diagram of a meter stick showing the relationships between meters, decimeters (10^{1} m), centimeters (10^{2} m), and millimeters (10 ^{3} m).
Scientific Notation
The easiest way to convert one unit of measurement to another unit of measure is to initially convert its metric prefix to its associated power of ten while also rewriting the original numerical value in scientific notation. The final answer can then be simplified by just combining exponents.
A number is expressed in scientific notation when it is in the form
a × 10^{n} where 1≤ a <10 and n ∈ { ... 3, 2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 3 ... )
Before continuing with the next section of lesson in which we convert measurements in one metric prefix to another, let's practice converting between decimal notation and scientific notation.
