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Masses, lengths and times

The following list gives the orders of magnitude of a whole range of distances, masses and times throughout the Universe.

Diameter of a sub-nuclear particle   10-15 m
Distance across an atom   10-10 m = 0.1 nm
Distance a fingernail grows in 1s   10-9 m = 1 nm
Wavelength of yellow light   6x10-7 m = 600 nm
Diameter of a human hair   5x10-6 m = 50 μm
Height of an adult human   1.75 m
World record long jump (man)   8.95 m
Length of a marathon run (approx.)   40 000 m
Distance light travels in a year (in free space)   1016 m = 1013 km
Radius of the observable universe   1025 m = 13 700 light years
Mass of an electron   10-30 kg
Mass of an adult human   100 kg
Mass of a small car   1000 kg
Mass of a diesel locomotive (average)   50 000 kg
Mass of the Earth   6x1024 kg
Mass of the Sun   2x10-30 kg
Mass of the Universe (approx.)   1050 kg
Time intervals    
Time for light to cross a nucleus   10-23 s
One 'beat' of the clock in fast PC   10-12 s = 1 ps
One heart beat   1 s
Mens' world 100 m record (2016)   9.58 s
Time to boil an egg   100 s
Length of a football match   5000 s
A school morning   10 000 s
One day   86 400 s
One year   3.2x107 s
'Average western'human lifetime   2.5x109 s = 80 years
Rotation period for our galaxy   7.7x1015 s = 2x108 years
Age of the Universe   1018 s = 13 700x1012 years

You might like to look at some more interesting magnitudes of quantities by visiting
Physics facts

© Keith Gibbs