nm to m Converter

Created by Davide Borchia
Reviewed by Komal Rafay
Last updated: May 04, 2023

Our nm to m converter zooms out from the atomic to the everyday scale in the blink of an eye. What are you going to learn in this short article?

  • What is a nanometer?
  • How to convert nm to m;
  • How to use the conversion factor from nm to m;

and much more. Keep reading to learn everything about the nanometers to meters conversion!

What is a nanometer?

A nanometer (nm) is a metric measurement unit for length, corresponding to a billionth of a meter. Split a meter into a thousand parts: you'll find a millimeter. Repeat the same operation on a millimeter, and you'll find a micrometer. One of your hair is around 10 micrometers wide. Take a micrometer, and divide it into another thousand parts: each of them is a nanometer wide.

🙋 To understand the difference in scale, we are dealing with, imagine a meter corresponding to the distance between Philadelphia and Chicago. A nanometer at that scale would be barely a millimeter wide!

Living at such small scales, it's unsurprising that the nanometer has applications mostly in science dealing with atomic-scale phenomena. The nanometer is widely used in physics, where it describes comfortably crystal cells, the mean free path of a molecule at atmospheric pressure, and many more phenomena. Engineering is slowly moving in that direction, with the transistors in your computer's CPU with channels that are less than 10 nm wide, so small that quantum phenomena threaten the development of smaller devices!

Chemistry also lives at the nanometric scale, where we measure the bonds between atoms with this unit. At the bridge with biology, the nanometer measures the size of many organic molecules. We mention, for example, the diameter of a DNA strand's coil: 2.5 nm.

How to convert nm to m?

Knowing where we can find the nanometer, it's time to learn how to measure and convert from and to this unit.

As we said, a nanometer corresponds to a billionth of a meter. How do we write this relationship in mathematical terms?

1 nm=0.000000001 m1\ \mathrm{nm} = 0.000000001\ \mathrm{m}

Using the scientific notation makes this equation readily understandable:

1 nm=1109 m1\ \mathrm{nm} = 1\cdot10^{-9}\ \mathrm{m}

To calculate the conversion from nanometers to meters, simply multiply a measurement in nanometers by the factor 10910^{-9}. Notice that unless you are dealing with very large measurements (which means you are using the wrong measurement unit!), the results will be exceptionally small. We suggest you use scientific notation in the subsequent calculations. You can learn how to do it with our scientific notation calculator.

m to nm conversion

The opposite conversion, from meters to nanometers, brings you from the human scale to the atomic one. The magnitude of your measurement will increase a billionfold! To convert m to nm, use the following equation:

1 m=1, ⁣000, ⁣000, ⁣000 nm1\ \mathrm{m} = 1,\!000,\!000,\!000\ \mathrm{nm}

To find the result of a conversion from meter to nanometer, simply multiply the value in meters by a billion.

Examples of conversion from nanometers to meters (nm to m conversion)

Let's see how to use the conversion factor from nm to m! Imagine you measured the channel of an Intel i5 processor at 14 nm. To how many meters does this measure correspond?

To find the result, simply apply the conversion factor from nm to m:

14 nm14 nm×0.000000001 m/nm=0.000000014 m=1.4×108 m\footnotesize \begin{split} 14 \ \mathrm{nm}& \equiv 14 \ \mathrm{nm} \times 0.000000001 \ \mathrm{m/nm}\\ &=0.000000014 \ \mathrm{m}\\&=1.4 \times 10^{-8} \ \mathrm{m} \end{split}

How much is your height in nanometers? Ok, maybe it's not the most comfortable unit, but let's try for fun! Assuming you are 1.75 m1.75 \ \mathrm{m} tall. Use the multiplicative inverse of the conversion factor from nm to m, which tells us that there are a billion nanometers in a meter, to find your height in nanometers:

1.75 m1.75 m×1,000,000,000 nm/m=1,750,000,000 nm\footnotesize \begin{split} 1.75 \ \mathrm{m}\! &\equiv \!1.75 \ \mathrm{m} \!\times\! 1,\!000,\!000,\!000 \ \mathrm{nm/m}\\ &=\!1,\!750,\!000,\!000 \ \mathrm{nm} \end{split}

Saying you are a billionth and three-quarter nanometers tall indeed sounds impressive, but are we sure it's the best choice?

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How much is 120 nanometers in meters

120 nanometers equal to 0.00000012 m or 1.2 × 10-7 m. To find this result:

  1. Take the measurement in nanometers.
  2. Divide the measurement by the conversion factor from nm to m (0.000000001 m/nm).

The formula we'd use is:
120 nm ≡ 120 nm × 0.000000001 m/nm = 0.00000012 m
Use the scientific notation to write this result in a more manageable way: 0.00000012 m = 1.2 × 10-7 m.

How do I convert nm to m?

To convert nm to m, follow these simple steps:

  1. Calculate your measurement in nanometers. A notable quantity we measure with this unit is, for example, the wavelength of light.
  2. Divide the measure by the conversion factor from nm to m: 0.000000001 = 10-9.
  3. That's it: the result is the measure in meters!

What is the nm to m conversion factor?

The nm to m conversion factor is 0.000000001 or 10-9. This means that each nanometer corresponds to a billionth of a meter, and it suffices to multiplicate a measure in nanometer by this factor to find the (much smaller) measure in meters. For example, if you measure a carbon nanotube with a diameter 25 nm, you can say that its diameter in meters is 25/0.000000001 = 0.000000025 m = 25 ×10-8 m.

Davide Borchia
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