New measures for size, as world’s people surpass 8 billion
Scientists meeting outside Paris on Friday expanded the world’s measuring unit systems for the first time this century as the global population passes 8 billion.
What is bigger: A ronna or a quetta?
Scientists meeting outside of Paris on Friday — who have expanded the world’s measuring unit systems for the first time this century as the global population surges past 8 billion — have the answer.
Rapid scientific advances and vast worldwide data storage on the web, in smartphones and in the cloud mean that the very terms used to measure things in weight and size need extending too. And one British scientist led the push Friday to incorporate bold new, tongue-twisting prefixes on the gigantic and even the minuscule scale.
“Most people are familiar with prefixes like milli- as in milligram. But these are prefixes for the biggest and smallest levels ever measured,” Dr Richard Brown, head of Metrology at the U.K.’s National Physical Laboratory who proposed the four new prefixes, told The Associated Press.
“In the last 30 years, the datasphere has increased exponentially, and data scientists have realized they will no longer have words to describe the levels of storage. These terms are upcoming, the future,” he explained.