When solving physics problems, you’ll often encounter unit prefixes that you need to know. You also need to be familiar with common unit symbols and their corresponding SI units. The following tables list some of the typical prefixes and symbols that you may see.

Commonly Used Unit Prefixes in Physics Problems
Unit Prefix Name |
Symbol |
Factor |

tera- |
T |
10^{12} |

giga- |
G |
10^{9} |

mega- |
M |
10^{6} |

kilo- |
k |
10^{3} |

centi- |
c |
10^{–2} |

milli- |
m |
10^{–3} |

micro- |
ì |
10^{–6} |

nano- |
n |
10^{–9} |

pico- |
p |
10^{–12} |

Handy Unit Conversions for Physics Problems
Derived Units |
Symbol |
SI Units |

Newton |
N |
kilogram meter per second squared |

Joule |
J |
kilogram meter squared per second squared |

Watt |
W |
kilogram meter squared per second cubed |

Hertz |
Hz |
inverse second |

Pascal |
P |
kilogram per meter per second squared |

Degree Celsius |
°C |
kelvin |