How Small is a Micron?


What is a Micron?

A micron, pronounced mahy-kron comes from the Greek word mīkrón, meaning a little. A micron or micrometer/micrometer or µm is a measurement used in sciences, industry, and English-speaking countries.

Why use Micron as a Measurement?

Have you ever had to measure something so small it doesn't make sense to measure in centimeters or millimeters? Such as explaining the thickness of a person’s hair. That is where microns come in.

Micron in mm and micron in inches

How Small is a Micron?

1 micron is the same as .00003937 inches, or 0.001 mm.

Between 1 μm and 10 μm:

  • 1–10 μm – length of a typical bacterium
  • 3–8 μm – width of a spider's web
  • ~10 μm – diameter of a rain droplet

Over 10 μm:

  • 10 to 55 μm – width of wool fiber
  • 17 to 181 μm – diameter of human hair
  • 70 to 180 μm – thickness of paper
  • 19,053 μm - diameter of American Penny

Now that you understand how small a micron is, what would you like to measure using microns?

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