Talk:Orders of magnitude (time)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Time (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Time, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Time on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Measurement  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Measurement, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Measurement on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.


Orders of magnitude[edit]

(moved from second)

A millisecond (ms) is equal to one thousandth of a second. It is often used for measuring the duration of speech sounds in phonetics.

  • A microsecond (µs) is equal to one millionth (10-6) of a second. It is often used for measuring things like atomic and chemical reactions, which occur in normally imperceptible lengths of time.
  • A nanosecond (ns) is equal to 10-9 of a second.
    • It is only infrequently put into everyday use. In technical situations it is however a very common unit, especially in computers, telecommunications, pulsed lasers, and some areas of electronics.
    • In 1 ns, light travels exactly 299.792458 mm in a vacuum (via the definition of the metre). But the speed of light is slower in materials, indicated by an index of refraction n greater than 1. Thus in air (n = 1.003), light travels about 298.9 mm in 1 ns, but it travels only about 225.4 mm in water (n = 1.33) each nanosecond.
  • A picosecond (ps) is equal to 10-12 of a second, or one trillionth in the short scale (ie, one million millionth) of a second.
    • The waves of visible light oscillate with a period of about 1 femtosecond.
  • An attosecond (as) is an SI unit of time equal to 10-18 of a second.
    • The current shortest measurable period of time (as of February 2004) is 100 attoseconds. (BBC News)
  • A zeptosecond (zs) is equal to 10-21 of a second.
  • A yoctosecond (ys) is equal to 10-24 (one septillionth in the short scale) of a second.

Conversion to exact seconds[edit]

Some articles, such as 1 E6 s provide seconds conversions for the intervals discussed in the article. For example,

*1.54×106 seconds = 17.81 days – half life of californium-253

Other articles, such as 1 E9 s provide only the common times without seconds conversion:

*3.86×109 seconds = 122 years and 164 days -- longest recorded lifespan of any known human (Jeanne Calment)

I think we should include the conversions, to aid in comparison especially among disparate units, but the important thing is to settle on one approach and be consistent. Comments? Matchups 13:44, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


Should a Centisecond be added in between the second and millisecond? --Pokekid (talk) 04:11, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I see it has been. Not sure that was a good idea.

The example "3.2 cs: length of time a single frame on a television screen is shown" is dubious. Firstly, it is country-specific - most homes in the USA have 110 volts AC at 60 Hz, and the frame rate in the USA TV standards (e.g. NTSC) was based on that to minimise the visual effects that mains interference caused in a CRT (an effect largely absent in flat panel displays). In Europe, with 220-240 volt AC at 50 Hz, the TV standards were based on 50Hz. Secondly, "frame" could be read as a single vertical scan of the screen, or a full frame allowing for interlacing? A full frame consists of two interlaced frames, hence a frame rate of 25 frames per second in Europe (40 mS or 4 cS) and 30 frames per second in the USA, (32 mS or 3.2 cS). Thirdly, some years ago Phillips introduced TVs with double scan rate - 100 Hz (10 mS/1cS) scan in order to reduce flicker effects. Many manufacturers' high end TVs now offer this. And finally, HDTV offers both interlaced and progressive scan options, with various effective frame rates.

In conclusion, the example given is imprecise, confusing, and should be dropped. (talk) 13:23, 2 February 2009 (UTC) dww (not registered)


Oppose, for the same reasons as given in Talk:Orders of magnitude (length)#Possible merger. Cleanup is what is needed, not merge. -Wikianon (talk) 20:51, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment if consensus has already been found - I couldn't work out what was decided in the archived Talk:Time - then may I remove all the merge tags? Maybe replace with cleanup tags? The concerns of the guideline Wikipedia:Content forking might be resolved by appropriate summarising, or even judicious use of content templates.-Wikianon (talk) 21:02, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Recent redirect to Order of magnitude[edit]

Hello Wikianon, This article (or these articles within the magnitude of time) where approved for merger back in January 2008. They do not cite any references or sources and are mostly all stubs and content forks to the subordinate article Orders of magnitude (time). Per Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Merging such articles “that are short and unlikely to be expanded can often be merged.” Furthermore, the terms used for the articles, such as 1 E-21 s, 1 E-18 s, along with the majority found within the template: Associations/Orders of magnitude (time) violate the principals of Wikipedia’s Guidelines on neologisms. In particular, these articles ‘’’do not’’’ cite reliable sources. This contradicts the guideline that a term must cite reliable secondary sources. The reliable secondary sources must comply to Wikipedia’s policies and not contain any Original research. On december 3, 2007 I added a merger template to discuss this issue.[1] A prolonged conversation occurred at talk:time which is now archived here. On January 9th 2008, 7:11 UTC, user: JimWae posted a summary of this discussion. In particular he noted that the “Proposal now is to merge E## articles into Orders of magnitude (time)” Furthermore you will notice that this conversation is from 2008. It is the lasted decision which involved proper procedure (including the somewhat distracting merger templates) and a discussion that lasted several months. Unlike your recent post which shows the Talk:Orders of magnitude (length)#Possible merger discussion between 3 people building a consensus within 6 days, way back in march 2006 (Almost 2 years ago). I plan to undo your change and redirected the page back to the article Orders of magnitude (time) which is the “community’s general concensus.” Your comment, which was left within this edit summary, states that there was “no prior discussion” , when in fact I have just overwhelmingly proved to you that this is not the case. Though it is understandable someone may overlook this “prior discussion”, I find myself unerved, anoyed and finally disturbed by your action considering that on January 13th 2007 you removed the merger request template (as demonstrated by your edit here), which indicates you where aware of all the above circumstances. I would first appreciate and apology and then an explanation on why you continue to edit these articles in such a disruptive maner. Wikipedia has behavioral guidelines on disruption which states:

  1. “ tendentious: continues editing an article or group of articles in pursuit of a certain point for an extended time despite opposition from one or more other editors” and,
  2. ” ...fails to cite sources,...”

I believe, you currently pass the test and meet these definitions. Per the guidelines for Wikipedia:Disruption#Dealing with disruptive editors, and this is partially based on the aforementioned fact that you clearly knew about a “prior discussion” (hence lied in your edit summary), I have engaged not only in step 1 and 2, but 3. I trust you will understand that this response is an “attempt to engage in dialogue” and refers “to policies and guidelines as appropriate.” Given the fact that you are not a new editor (actively contributing since September 3, 2006) it makes it difficult for me to asume good faith. In fact, your user contributions (for January 13, 2007) shows that you removed more than 40 of the merger request templates. Hence, I will not hesitate to follow steps 4 and 5. Nevertheless, I will assume good faith and not act as if your mistakes were deliberate. Who know, maybe you didn’t even bother reading the discussion on the talk:time. Nevertheless, I think you have some serious questions that you have to answer as well as some harsh relationship communications obstacles to which we will need to conquer before this leads to something productive. Best regards and I hope I may have answered any of your questions. Thank you kindly for your ambition on this matter. --CyclePat (talk) 06:43, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Furthermore, none of the information is being deleted, it is or has simply been merged within this main article Orders of magnitude (time) where we should be able to, in an much easier fashion, colaborate and concentrate on getting reliable, verifiable information. I know there is some information out there... and I know for one we shouldn't be repeating the same "source" (if or when we find some), throughout every article. (I believe this was however already discussed back in January 2008) --CyclePat (talk) 06:59, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
What if we used a series of templates? Then we could easily format the templates in a way that they could be droped into one main article but... naah! too complicated and it still doesn't solve most of the problems. Never mind bad idea. --CyclePat (talk) 07:02, 14 March 2008 (UTC)


anna?! annus is masculine, not neuter. —Tamfang (talk) 06:38, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

If you read the actual page, you'll see that the name is actually the accusative of annus. However, once the word was taken into English, instead of using the accusative plural annos it was treated like other -um words of Latin origin and pluralized like a second declension neuter nominative. It is rather like how, outside of taxonomy, we say animals, not animalia. Bbi5291 (talk) 17:20, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
I notice that "the actual page" mentions anni but not anna. —Tamfang (talk) 07:07, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound condescending, if that's the way you took it. All right, so it appears we were both wrong: either the plural form is the same as the singular form, or there isn't really a plural form in general use. I have seen expressions like "2 kiloannum" (compare with "2 kilometers"); most of the time we use the short forms anyway. Bbi5291 (talk) 01:54, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

take out skype link[edit]

There is an embedded link (near the bottom of the "years" section) to call a New Zealand telephone number on Skype. I tried previewing removing it, but it was being stupid for me and said it was still there (in the preview). I can't be bothered finding all the coding used for that embedding process, partly because I am not very familiar with such things. So would someone else like to remove it? Be good if ya could. Thanks. Gott wisst (talk) 06:27, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

  • The country code for NZ is 64, and there is no "64" on the page. Is this maybe the number starting with 31 that looks like a phone number and your browser is turning it into a Skype link and somehow Netherlands is getting confused with New Zealand? Matchups 03:42, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

inconsistency in age of the universe #2[edit]

I must admit, that the statement in the first table: "430 Zs: the approximate age of the Universe" is surely wrong. Just few lines up there are estimates how Eart is around 143 Petaseconds (which is around 4 billion years). As we know from Wiki the universe is around 13 billion years old. This translates roughly ~460 Petaseconds not 430 Zettaseconds as stated now. Please fix. Error is too large.

Regards, Sven Lange —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:45, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

inconsistency in age of the universe[edit]

I notice from one table that the age of the universe is approximated at 13 odd Billion years. In the other it is so many hundred trillion years. I prefer the billions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joconnor37 (talkcontribs) 20:14, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Two see also sections[edit]

There are two "See also" sections, which need to be merge into a single one. There are duplicate entries and IMHO, there is not enough distinction between them to warrant separation. — MrDolomite • Talk 17:05, 2 January 2012 (UTC)


The title should be changed into Time (orders of magnitude) per the manual of style as 'orders' is not a proper noun. However, it seems that this kind of article is in all other quantities named "Order of magnitude (quantity)" (see Category:Orders of magnitude) and used to be titled Orders of magnitude (time) until moved by Whalestate (now blocked) last year (edit). Any thoughts?–Totie (talk) 00:31, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Section based on 'annum'[edit]

I removed this entire section. It simply duplicates the existing table based on seconds (which is an SI unit), and it embodies considerable confusion about the Latin for 'year'. Without a very reliable source for the use of the accusative annum (for no particular reason, other than presumably someone had only heard of 'per annum'), and given that the normal English term for a year is, um, gosh, "year", and that "megayear", "picoyear" etc, can be perfectly well formed, one option would be to change everything to "year". But then the duplication only becomes more apparent, since "years" are already in the table above. Imaginatorium (talk) 10:00, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Pretentious article[edit]

We don't measure time in units larger than minutes, in seconds. This portion of the table should be minute, hour, day, week, month, year, century, millennium, epoch, eon, etc. The metric prefixes + second are not orders of magnitude of time; they're just numbers of seconds. Most of the examples are so unfamiliar that they're useless. All of the planck-time multiples in particular are meaningless and should be deleted from the table. Anything lasting less than some fraction of a second, like 1/1000 sec camera shutter speed, just aren't everyday events. Sbalfour (talk) 00:16, 27 January 2018 (UTC)


I've trimmed the table to 22 entries. 13 of them, from a nanosecond (microprocessor cycle time) to a millennium (1000 years of history from the middle ages) are reasonably familiar, and should be denoted in everyday phenomena. A 'minute' is the time it takes a sweep second hand to cycle around a clock face. It's so familiar that it's the very definition of a minute. All the other dozen orders of magnitude in this range can be and should be so illustrated.

The particle physics and astronomical phenomena, as well as most geophysical phenomena are meaningless to the average person. They don't illustrate anything, and should not be in the article. Some orders of magnitude maybe just don't get examples because there isn't anything meaningful to say.

'Orders of magnitude of time' is an ordinary concept, and least abstractly, so the article needs to be accessible in an ordinary way to the ordinary person.

Sbalfour (talk) 17:56, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Orders of magnitude (time)[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Orders of magnitude (time)'s orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Falk":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 04:37, 29 January 2018 (UTC)