Macro, Micro, Nano

Anyone who has looked through a microscope knows that beyond our vision an unknown and fascinating universe exists.Teeming bacteria which are visible in a drop of water when it is enlarged a thousand times, are on average a thousandth of a millimetre (a micrometre) thin. This is the microcosmos. The nanoworld however is even tinier!

symbolische Darstellung verschiedener Längenmaßstäbe vom Atom bis zum Menschen

In the nanocosmos you measure in billionths of a metre - which corresponds to m and/or 10-9m. The following comparisons demonstrate this size ratio.

A nanometre is this size:

  • in comparison to a metre it has the diameter of a 1 cent coin compared to the earth.
  • 1 nm can fit into a full stop at the end of a sentence more than 100,000 times.
  • It is around 50,000 times smaller than the diameter of a thin human hair.
  • In the millimetre interval on a ruler there is enough room for a million nanometres.

The word component "nano" comes from the Greek "nanos" meaning "dwarf".