AskDefine | Define microscale

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  1. A very small or microscopic scale
  2. The scale of microanalysis
  3. A scale of physical consideration or of bounds having a characteristic dimension typically ranging from 1 to 999 µm (under 1 mm)

Usage notes

  • Used attributively in terms such as "microscale chemistry".

Extensive Definition

A micrometer (British spelling: micrometre; symbol µm) is one millionth of a meter, or equivalently one thousandth of a millimeter. It is also commonly known as a micron. It can be written in scientific notation as 1×10−6 m, meaning .
The symbol µm's character µ (Unicode character U+00B5; HTML µ) is "micro-", which should look identical to the Greek letter mu (μ) (the two may or may not look the same, depending on the font). The symbol µm is sometimes replaced by "um" when a suitable glyph for µ is not readily available, for example in ASCII or when using a typewriter, although this is non-standard.
The micrometer is a common unit of measurement for wavelengths of infrared radiation. Some people (especially in astronomy and the semiconductor industry) use the old name micron and/or the solitary symbol µ (both of which were official between 1879 and 1967) to denote a micrometer. This practice persists in the face of official discouragement, perhaps to help disambiguate between the unit of measurement and the micrometer, a measuring device.


The µ symbol can be entered the following ways:
  • Alt+230 - Alt code from CP437 and other IBM codepages; on Windows and DOS.
  • Alt+0181 - Alt code from ISO-8859-1 etc; on Windows.
  • AltGr+m - on many non-US keyboard layouts, also Option+m on a Mac.
  • Ctrl+Shift+B5 - Unicode hex code; on Linux.

See also

microscale in Arabic: ميكرومتر
microscale in Asturian: Micrómetru
microscale in Min Nan: Bî-bí
microscale in Catalan: Micròmetre (unitat)
microscale in Czech: Mikrometr
microscale in German: Meter#Dezimale_Vielfache_und_Teile_des_Meters
microscale in Estonian: Mikromeeter
microscale in Spanish: Micrómetro (unidad de longitud)
microscale in Esperanto: Mikrometro
microscale in Basque: Mikrometro
microscale in French: Micromètre
microscale in Friulian: Micrometri
microscale in Galician: Micrómetro
microscale in Korean: 마이크로미터
microscale in Icelandic: Míkrómetri
microscale in Italian: Micrometro (unità di misura)
microscale in Hebrew: תחיליות במערכת היחידות הבינלאומית#.D7.9E.D7.99.D7.A7.D7.A8.D7.95
microscale in Latin: Micrometrum
microscale in Luxembourgish: Mikrometer
microscale in Hungarian: Mikrométer (mértékegység)
microscale in Dutch: Micrometer (lengtemaat)
microscale in Japanese: マイクロメートル
microscale in Norwegian: Mikrometer
microscale in Norwegian Nynorsk: Mikrometer
microscale in Polish: Mikrometr
microscale in Portuguese: Metro#Micr.C3.B4metro
microscale in Russian: Микрометр
microscale in Simple English: Micrometre
microscale in Slovak: Mikrometer
microscale in Slovenian: Mikrometer
microscale in Serbo-Croatian: Mikrometar
microscale in Tamil: மைக்ரோ மீட்டர்
microscale in Thai: ไมโครเมตร
microscale in Vietnamese: Micrômét
microscale in Turkish: Mikrometre
microscale in Ukrainian: Мікрометр
microscale in Chinese: 微米
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