New Prefixes Added to SI System

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New Prefixes Added to SI System

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On November 18, 2022, four new prefixes were added to the Internation System of Units, the international measurement standard. The four new prefixes are ronna (10²⁷), quetta (10³⁰), ronto (10⁻²⁷), and quecto (10⁻³⁰). Ronna and quetta express extremely large numbers of measurements, while ronto and quecto can express extremely small numbers. For example, the mass of the Earth can be written in 6 ronnagrams instead of 6×10²⁴ kilograms.

At the 27th General Conference of Weights and Measures, held during November 15 through November 18, 2022, in Versailles, France, scientists voted for the new prefixes to be in the SI system. The data scientists were starting to reach limits in writing data with the previously largest and smallest prefixes, leading them to agree on adding new prefixes which was the first time since 1991 that new prefixes were added to the SI system.

The new prefixes allow data to be written in simpler notations, while the data and storage are expanding. There may not be benefits in daily life, but scientists are able to make calculations and communicate with other scientists more easily.

By Jiyun Seo 



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