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Milliseconds Converter

Created by Davide Borchia
Reviewed by Komal Rafay
Last updated: Jan 18, 2024


Learn how to convert milliseconds to any other time measurement unit with our handy tool. In this short article, you will find a quick introduction to the milliseconds, followed by a deep dive into how to convert time into milliseconds and how to convert time in milliseconds to any other time measurement unit.
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What is a millisecond?

A millisecond is a measurement unit for time. The millisecond corresponds to a thousandth of a second and is a relatively short amount of time, at least in our day-to-day experience. The millisecond is a unit of the International System. Thus it fits nicely in the framework of other metric units. In the coming sections, we will explain to you how to convert time in milliseconds to other units.

The millisecond is of great importance in computer science and electronics (or, at least, it was): the duration of an operation of early processors and the first personal computers was in the range of the millisecond (it now moved a few orders of magnitude below). Most system times still operate with such resolution.

Human brains are a particular kind of computer. Their frequency is not that high, but their computational abilities are unparalleled, thanks to the connections between neurons. The average neuron operates (in jargon, we say it spikes) about 200 times per second, or one time every 5 milliseconds: our brain can't operate faster than this!

How to convert time in milliseconds into other units

The millisecond is best defined in relation to the second: its name is a telltale: milli is the Latin prefix for a thousandth! Technology allowed to measure the millisecond only starting from just more than a century ago: the first mention of this unit dates back to around 1901. The millisecond was created from the second using the metric convention of deriving subunits from powers of ten. In particular, the relationship between seconds and milliseconds is:

1 ms=0.001 s1\ \mathrm{ms} = 0.001\ \mathrm{s}

There are two orders of magnitude between these two units that we associate with two widely used time units in sports, for example:

  • The tenth of a second, that equals 100 ms; and
  • The hundredth of a second, equal to 10 ms.

If we move in the direction of smaller time scales, we meet units most commonly used in fundamental science and computing:

  • The microsecond, using the following relationship: 1 ms=1, ⁣000 μs1\ \mathrm{ms} = 1,\!000 \ \text{μs}; and
  • The nanosecond, which is a thousand times smaller: 1 ms=1, ⁣000, ⁣000 ns1\ \mathrm{ms} = 1,\!000,\!000\ \mathrm{ns}.

Skipping two powers of ten each time, we can create additional time units: the picosecond, femtosecond, and attosecond: the attosecond is the duration of fundamental chemical phenomena at the atomic scale.

From the millisecond, we can also move to larger time scales. However, the regularity we just met disappears right after we pass the seconds: larger time units are historical and follow a pattern that dates back to the early Babylonian math (they counted in base 60).

  • As there are 60 seconds in a minute, to convert milliseconds in minutes we say that 1 ms=1/100060 min=0.0000166667 min1\ \mathrm{ms} = 1/1000\cdot60\ \mathrm{min} = 0.0000166667\ \mathrm{min}.
  • Divide again by 6060 to find the relationship between milliseconds and hours: 1 ms=2.77778×107 h1\ \mathrm{ms} = 2.77778\times10^{-7}\ \mathrm{h}.

Dividing by 2424 would give you the relationship for days, and so on.

Converting time to milliseconds

To convert time to milliseconds from other time measurement units, we follow the inverse procedure as the ones detailed above. Notice that in the previous section, a millisecond corresponded to a large magnitude of shorter time units, and vice versa for longer time units (converting a millisecond in days returns a very small value). In this section, this behavior will be entirely reversed. Let's deal with shorter time units first:

  • A nanosecond corresponds to a millionth of a millisecond: 1 ns=0.000001 ms1\ \mathrm{ns} = 0.000001\ \mathrm{ms}.
  • A microsecond corresponds to a thousandth of a millisecond: 1 μs=0.001 s1\ \mathrm{μs} = 0.001\ \mathrm{s}.

To convert seconds into milliseconds, we multiply by a thousand: the magnitude of the conversion begins to increase!

1 s=1, ⁣000 ms1\ \mathrm{s} = 1,\!000\ \mathrm{ms}

Multiply the result by 6060 to find how many milliseconds are in a minute, and so on.

Other time units converter: milliseconds and more

The millisecond is a niche unit; we made many other tools for better known measurement units: try the:

FAQ

How do I convert 220 milliseconds in seconds?

To convert 220 milliseconds in seconds, follow these easy steps:

  1. Take the conversion factor between milliseconds and seconds: 1 ms = 0.001 s.
  2. Multiply the measure by the conversion factor: 220 ms ≡ 220 ms × 0.001 s/ms = 0.220 s.

That's it! 220 milliseconds are barely more than a fifth of a second.

What is the conversion factor between minutes and milliseconds?

The conversion factor between minutes and milliseconds is 60,000: to find this value, consider the following steps.

  1. Count how many seconds are in a minute: 1 min = 60 s.
  2. Count how many milliseconds are in a second: 1 s = 1,000 ms.
  3. Multiply these two numbers to find the direct conversion between minutes and milliseconds: 1 min = 60 s × 1,000 ms/s = 60,000 ms.

To convert in milliseconds, multiply the time in minutes by this factor.

Davide Borchia
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