Orders of magnitude (time)
In the context of time, an order of magnitude is a description of the quantity of a time in respect to comparison between differing magnitudes. In common usage, the scale is usually the base10 or base−10 exponent being applied to an amount, making the order of magnitude 10 times greater or smaller. As the differences are measured in factors of 10, a logarithmic scale is applied. In terms of time, the relationship between the smallest limit of time, the Planck time, and the next order of magnitude larger is 10.
Low order of magnitude - measures by the unit second (s)
|Unit (s)||Multiple||Symbol||Definition||Comparative examples & common units|
|10−44||1 Planck time||tP||The time required to travel one Planck length at the speed of light (c)||= 10−20 ys: One 10−44 sPlanck time tP = ≈ ×10−44 s5.4 is the briefest physically meaningful span of time. It is the unit of time in the natural units system known as Planck units.|
|10−24||1 yoctosecond||ys||Yoctosecond, (yocto- + second), is one septillionth of a second||0.3 ys: mean life of the W and Z bosons.[a]
0.5 ys: time for top quark decay, according to the Standard Model.
1 ys: time taken for a quark to emit a gluon.
23 ys: half-life of 7H.
|10−21||1 zeptosecond||zs||Zeptosecond, (zepto- + second), is one sextillionth of one second||7 zs: half-life of helium-9's outer neutron in the second nuclear halo.
17 zs: approximate period of electromagnetic radiation at the boundary between gamma rays and X-rays.
300 zs: approximate typical cycle time of X-rays, on the boundary between hard and soft X-rays.
500 zs: current resolution of tools used to measure speed of chemical bonding
850 zs:The time it takes the electron to change its quantum state from the very constricted, bound state around the atom to a free state, which is currently the quickest time ever observed.
|10−18||1 attosecond||as||One quintillionth of one second||12 attoseconds: best timing control of laser pulses.|
|10−15||1 femtosecond||fs||One quadrillionth of one second||1 fs: Cycle time for 300 nanometre light; ultraviolet light; light travels 0.3 micrometres (µm).
140 fs: Electrons have localized onto individual bromine atoms 6Å apart after laser dissociation of Br2.
|10−12||1 picosecond||ps||One trillionth of one second||1 ps: half-life of a bottom quark; light travels 0.3 millimeters (mm)
1 ps: lifetime of a transition state
4 ps: Time to execute one machine cycle by an IBM Silicon-Germanium transistor
|10−9||1 nanosecond||ns||One billionth of one second||1 ns: Time to execute one machine cycle by a 1 GHz microprocessor
1 ns: Light travels 30 centimetres (12 in)
|10−6||1 microsecond||µs||One millionth of one second||1 µs: Time to execute one machine cycle by an Intel 80186 microprocessor
4–16 µs: Time to execute one machine cycle by a 1960s minicomputer
|10−3||1 millisecond||ms||One thousandth of one second||1 ms: time for a neuron in human brain to fire one impulse and return to rest
4–8 ms: typical seek time for a computer hard disk
|cs||One hundredth of one second||18–300 ms (=0.02–0.3 s): Human reflex response to visual stimuli
20 ms: cycle time for European 50 Hz AC electricity
|ds||One tenth of a second||100–400 ms (=0.1–0.4 s): Blink of an eye
150 ms: recommended maximum time delay for telephone service
185 ms: the duration of a full rotation of the main rotor on Bell 205, 212 and 412 helicopters (normal rotor speed is 324 RPM)
|100||1 second||s||The duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.||1 s: 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium-133 atom.
6 s: time it takes for a human to breathe
|101||1 decasecond||das||Ten seconds||19.54 s: Half-life of Carbon-10
40 s: Time til cyanide starts acting
60 s: 1 minute
|102||1 hectosecond||hs||One hundred seconds||494 s: Time it takes for light to reach the sun
600 s: Half-life of Neutronium
|ks||One thousand seconds||3.6 ks: 3600 s or 1 hour
86.4 ks: 86 400 s or 1 day
604.8 ks: 1 week
|103 s, 104 s, 105 s|
|Ms||One million seconds||
2.6 Ms: approximately 1 month
|Gs||One billion seconds|
|Ts||One trillion seconds||
6 Ts: Time since the appearance of Homo sapiens (approximately)
(32 thousand Millenniums)
|Ps||One quadrillion seconds||2.1 Ps: (66 million years) Time elapsed since the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, during which all non-avian dinosaurs became extinct.
7.1–7.9 Ps: 1 galactic year (225-250 million years)
(32 million Millenniums)
|Es||One quintillion seconds||312 Es: Estimated lifespan of a 0.1 solar mass red dwarf star.|
(32 billion Millenniums)
|Zs||One sextillion seconds||3 Zs: Estimated duration of Stelliferous Era.|
(32 trillion Millenniums)
|Ys||One septillion seconds||1.6416 Ys: Estimated half-life of the meta-stable 20983Bi radioactive isotope.|
- Heat death of the Universe
- Second law of thermodynamics
- Big Rip
- Big Crunch
- Big Bounce
- Big Bang
- Cyclic model
- Dyson's eternal intelligence
- Final anthropic principle
- Ultimate fate of the Universe
- Timeline of the Big Bang
- Timeline of the far future
- Graphical timeline of the Big Bang
- Graphical timeline from Big Bang to Heat Death. This timeline uses the loglog scale for comparison with the graphical timeline included in this article.
- Graphical timeline of the universe. This timeline uses the more intuitive linear time, for comparison with this article.
- Graphical timeline of the Stelliferous Era
- The Last Question, a short story by Isaac Asimov which considers the inevitable outcome of heat death in the universe and how it may be reversed.
- Orders of magnitude (frequency)
- Geologic timescale
- Logarithmic timeline
- Natural history
- Physical unit
- Planck units
- SI unit
- Temporal resolution
- Timeline of evolution
- Timeline of the Big Bang
- Terasecond and longer
- PDG reports the resonance width (Γ). Here the conversion τ = ħ⁄Γ is given instead.
- Brians, Paus. "Orders of Magnitude" (8/4/2013)
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- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. Available at: http://www.bartleby.com/61/21/Y0022100.html. Accessed December 19, 2007. note: abbr. ys or ysec
- C. Amsler et al. (2009): Particle listings – W boson
- C. Amsler et al. (2009): Particle listings – Z boson
- esciencenews (2010)
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