Orders of magnitude (power)

This page lists examples of the power in watts produced by various sources of energy. They are grouped by orders of magnitude, and each section covers three orders of magnitude, or a factor of one thousand.

Below 1 watt

Below 1 yoctowatt

Zeptowatt (10−21 watt)

Attowatt (10−18 watt)

Femtowatt (10−15 watt)

Picowatt (10−12 watt)

Nanowatt (10−9 watt)

Microwatt (10−6 watt)

Milliwatt (10−3 watt)

Between 1 and 1000 watts


Above 1000 watts

Kilowatt (103 watts)

Megawatt (106 watts)

The productive capacity of electrical generators operated by utility companies is often measured in MW. Few things can sustain the transfer or consumption of energy on this scale; some of these events or entities include: lightning strikes, naval craft (such as aircraft carriers and submarines), engineering hardware, and some scientific research equipment (such as supercolliders and large lasers).

For reference, about 10,000 100-watt lightbulbs or 5,000 computer systems would be needed to draw 1 MW. Also, 1 MW is approximately 1360 horsepower. Modern high-power diesel-electric locomotives typically have a peak power of 3–5 MW, while a typical modern nuclear power plant produces on the order of 500–2000 MW peak output.

Gigawatt (109 watts)

Terawatt (1012 watts)

Petawatt (1015 watts)

Exawatt (1018 watts)

In a keynote presentation, NIF & Photon Science Chief Technology Officer Chris Barty described the "Nexawatt" Laser, an exawatt (1,000-petawatt) laser concept based on NIF technologies, on April 13 at the SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics 2015 Conference in Prague. Barty also gave an invited talk on "Laser-Based Nuclear Photonics" at the SPIE meeting.[29]

Zettawatt (1021 watts)

Yottawatt (1024 watts)

Greater than one thousand yottawatts

See also


  1. "Nanoelectromechanical systems face the future". Physics World. February 1, 2001.
  2. "article was originally published as Los Alamos research paper LAUR-03-6163". December 2003.
  3. 1 2 CERN. Beam Parameters and Definitions". Table 2.2. Retrieved September 13, 2008
  4. dtic.mil - harvesting energy with hand-crank generators to support dismounted soldier missions, 2004-12-xx
  5. http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/JacquelineLing.shtml
  6. (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20081217040211/http://www.gearypacific.com/ComfortZone/14%20The%20People%20Load.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. alternative-energy-news.info - The Pedal-A-Watt Stationary Bicycle Generator, January 11, 2010
  8. econvergence.net - The Pedal-A-Watt Bicycle Generator Stand Buy one or build with detailed plans., 2012
  9. "GeForce GTX 480 Tortured by FurMark: 300W and Earplugs Required!". Geeks3D.com. March 28, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  10. DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Classical Physics. USDOE. 1992. pp. CP–05, Page 9. OSTI 10170060.
  11. Ball, D; Burrows C; Sargeant AJ (March 1999). "Human power output during repeated sprint cycle exercise: the influence of thermal stress.". Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 79 (4): 360–6. PMID 10090637.
  12. 1 2 http://www.fao.org/docrep/w7241e/w7241e05.htm
  13. http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/amclasses.html
  14. http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/fmclasses.html
  15. http://www.controleng.com/blog/820000282/post/1100035510.html
  16. http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Japan/Electricity.html
  17. "Costa Rica has been running on 100% renewable energy for 2 months straight".
  18. http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/StaverieBoundouris.shtml
  19. National Grid electricity consumption statistics
  20. Turkish Electricity Transmission Company's Installed Capacity Statistics
  21. World Wind Energy Association Statistics (PDF).
  22. Annamalai, Kalyan; Ishwar Kanwar Puri (2006). Combustion Science and Engineering. CRC Press. p. 851. ISBN 978-0-8493-2071-2.
  23. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saturn_v_schematic.jpg
  24. – Nasa: Listening to shortwave radio signals from Jupiter
  25. U.S energy consumption by source, 1949–2005, Energy Information Administration accessed May 25, 2007
  26. Dumé, Belle (July 27, 2005). "Geoneutrinos make their debut". Physics World. Figure 1 Radiogenic heat in the Earth
  27. "上海超强超短激光达到国际领先水平".
  28. eli-beams.eu: Lasers
  29. https://lasers.llnl.gov/news/papers-presentations#barty
  30. http://prezi.com/h0cxhu__7y7f/robert-oppenheimer-czar-bomb/ Tsar Bomba's 33.8 YW estimate by J. Robert Oppenheimer
  31. http://arxiv.org/abs/0809.0754
  32. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0311488
  33. http://arxiv.org/abs/1311.5734
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