A short film by Charles and Ray Eames. It was made in 1968. The goal of this movie is to give you a sense of the scale of things in the universe. It starts with the size of the universe (about 1025meters) and progressively zooms down to the size of sub-atomic particles (10-16meters). The movie is 8m 47s long.

There's now an interactive CD-ROM based on the movie and a pretty good website at


It seemed like every class in high school showed this film. The only movie I've probably seen more than the Powers of Ten is Star Wars.

The following are the prefixes associated with, and the abbreviations for the different powers of ten.

Multiple      Prefix       Abbreviation
1018          exa           E
1015          peta          P
1012          tera          T
109           giga          G
106           mega          M
103           kilo          k
102           hecto         h
101           deka          da
10-1          deci          d
10-2          centi         c
10-3          milli         m
10-6          micro         μ
10-9          nano          n
10-12         pico          p
10-15         femto         f
10-18         atto          a

So, something that is 1/100th of a meter is called a centimeter, and abreviated cm. Nifty, huh?

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