Examples of Nanoscale

Size of Objects in Nanometers

A single strand of hair is about 2.5 nanometers wide.
A single strand of hair is about 2.5 nanometers wide. Lynn Koenig, Getty Images

You probably know a nanometer is 1/1,000,000,000 of a meter or 10-9 meters, but do you have a feel for just how small a nanometer is? Here are some examples of nanoscale objects, plus the length of common objects expressed in nanometers.

  • Your fingernails grow at the rate of about 1 nanometer per second!
  • single water molecule - about 1.5 nanometers
  • a strand of human DNA - 2.5 nanometers in diameter
  • single hemoglobin molecule - 5 nanometers across
  • single bacterium - about 1,000 nanometers long
  • a strand of hair - about 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers wide
  • a sheet of paper - 100,000 nanometers thick
  • an ant - 5 million nanometers long
  • human hand - 100 million nanometers long
  • 7-foot tall basketball player - 2 billion nanometers tall
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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Examples of Nanoscale." ThoughtCo, Mar. 13, 2017, thoughtco.com/examples-of-nanoscale-608575. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, March 13). Examples of Nanoscale. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/examples-of-nanoscale-608575 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Examples of Nanoscale." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/examples-of-nanoscale-608575 (accessed February 25, 2018).