Browse Definitions:
Definition

meter

The meter (abbreviation, m; the British spelling is metre) is the International System of Units (SI) unit of displacement or length. One meter is the distance traveled by a ray of electromagnetic (EM) energy through a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 (3.33564095 x 10-9) of a second. The meter was originally defined as one ten-millionth (0.0000001 or 10-7) of the distance, as measured over the earth's surface in a great circle passing through Paris, France, from the geographic north pole to the equator.

One meter is a little more than three English feet, or about 39.37 inches. One foot is approximately 0.3048 meter. There are about 1609 meters in a statute mile. The official span was at one time formally defined as the separation between two scratches on a platinum bar in Paris. This was, of course, intended mainly for show, and not for use in the laboratory.

Power-of-10 prefix multipliers facilitate the derivation of other, often more convenient, distance units from the meter. One centimeter (cm) is equal to 0.01 m, one millimeter (mm) is equal to 0.001 m, and one kilometer (km) is equal to 1000 m. These units are found in nonscientific as well as scientific literature. Smaller units are the realm of the scientist and engineer. One micrometer (symbolized ?m or ?), also called a micron, is equal to 0.000001 (10-6) m. One nanometer (nm) is equal to 10-9 m. One Angström unit (symbolized Ä) is equal to 10-10 m, or 0.1 nm.

The meter and its kin are used to specify the wavelengths of EM fields. The so-called radio spectrum occupies an informally defined range of wavelengths from roughly a millimeter (microwaves) to several tens of kilometers (myriametric waves). A 3-m radio wave falls near the middle of the standard FM (frequency modulation) broadcast band; a 300-m radio wave is near the middle of the standard AM (amplitude-modulation) broadcast band. The range of visible light wavelengths is from approximately 390 nm (violet) to 770 nm (red). The speed of EM-field propagation in a vacuum, to nine significant figures, is 2.99792458 x 108 meters per second. In this sense, the meter can be derived from the second if the latter unit has been previously defined in absolute terms; one meter is the distance a ray of light travels through a vacuum in 3.33564095 x 10-9 second.

In engineering applications, and also in an everyday sense, the term meter refers to any instrument used to measure the magnitude of a quantity. Examples include the volume-unit (VU) meter in home audio systems, the ammeter to measure electric current, and the kilowatt-hour meter to measure electrical energy consumed over a period of time.

Also see International System of Units (SI) and prefix multipliers.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About meter

Join the conversation

3 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

i don't understand what you are saying so stop trying. bam what
Cancel
The SI unit for length is metre, not meter. A meter in English is a gas meter, or electricity.
Europe uses metre.
http://www.npl.co.uk/reference/measurement-units/si-base-units/the-metre
Cancel
cool
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close