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Unit of Distance

The unit of distance is a centimetre in the CGS system. In physics, distance is defined as the physical measurement of how far an object has moved. Distance is a scalar quantity.

SI Unit Of Distance

SI unit of distance is a metre according to the International System of Units. Interestingly, using this as the base unit and some equations, many other derived units or quantities are formed like volume, area, acceleration, and speed.

Metric Unit Of Distance

The metric unit of distance include the C.G.S and M.K.S unit systems. Following is the table which includes the metric units of distance:

Unit Symbol
Millimetre mm
Centimetre cm
Metre m
Kilometre km

Distance Conversion

Below is the table explaining the distance conversion for different units of distance:

Millimetre (mm) Centimetre (cm) Metre (m) Kilometre (km)
1 millimetre (mm) 1 0.1 0.001 0.000001
1 centimetre (cm) 10 1 0.01 0.00001
1 metre (m) 1000 100 1 0.001
1 kilometre (km) 1000000 100000 1000 1
1 inch (in) 25.4 2.54 0.0254 0.0000254

Commonly Used Distance Units

When we talk about or when we have to measure longer distances they are other units used. Some of them include:

  • The solar radius is 7 × 1010 cm.
  • The Astronomical Unit (AU) is the mean distance from the Earth to the Sun, 1.496 × 1013 cm, or about 93 million miles.
  • A light-year (ly), the distance travelled by light in one year, or 9.46 × 1017 cm. More significantly, one light-year is equal to 9,500,000,000,000 kilometres.
  • The parsec (pc), the distance at which an object has a parallactic shift of 1 second of arc, or more accurately 3.1 × 1018 cm. Usually, there is 3.26 ly in a pc and 206,265 AU in a pc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the biggest unit of distance?
Ans: The parsec is the biggest unit of distance that is used to measure the distance between the astronomical objects that are outside the solar system.

Q2. What is the smallest unit of distance?
Ans: The smallest unit of distance is Planck length which is denoted as ℓp and is equal to 1.616255(18)×10-35.

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