Order of magnitude

An order of magnitude is an approximate measure of the number of digits that a number has in the commonly-used base-ten number system. It is equal to the whole number floor of logarithm (base 10). For example, the order of magnitude of 1500 is 3, because 1500 = 1.5 × 103. Differences in order of magnitude can be measured on a base-10 logarithmic scale in “decades” (i.e., factors of ten). Examples of numbers of different magnitudes can be found at Orders of magnitude (numbers).


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