Glossary term: Nanometer

Description: One nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Its symbol is nm. A human hair is approximately 80,000–100,000 nm wide, about the same as the thickness of a piece of paper. A strand of human DNA is about 2.5 nm in diameter. A water molecule is less than 1 nm across. The wavelength of visible light can be measured in nm. Typically, the human eye can detect light with wavelengths between about 380 nm (violet) to 750 nm (red).

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