Orders of magnitude (voltage)

To help compare different orders of magnitude, the following list describes various voltage levels.

SI prefix Factor (volt) Value Item
Micro- 107 0.5µV Change in nerve cell potential caused by opening a single acetylcholine receptor channel[1]
106 2µV Noise in an EEG taken at the scalp[2]
Milli- 105 10100µV Peak-to-peak amplitude of an average EEG taken at the scalp[2][3]
15µV Minimum terrestrial digital-TV RF antenna signal (85 dBm over 75 Ω)[4][5]
56µV Minimum terrestrial analog-TV RF antenna signal (35 dB[µV])[6][7][8]
104 0.51mV Miniature endplate potentials, spontaneous fluctuations in neuron potentials[1]
103 12mV Potential created at ambient temperatures from K Type Thermocouple
Centi- 102 ~1050mV Ripple voltage in the output of a good DC power supply[9]
75mV Nerve cell resting potential[10]
Deci- 101 0.32 V Typical voltage reference level in consumer audio electronics (0.316 V rms)[11]
~0.5 V Typical MOSFET threshold voltage for modern processes
~0.7 V Forward voltage drop of normal silicon diodes[12]
0.81.0 V Typical positive supply voltage of a low voltage CMOS digital integrated circuit[13]
0.9 V Lemon battery cell (made with copper and zinc electrodes)[14]
N/A 100 0-3V Magnitudes of standard reduction potentials in chemistry[15]
1.5V Alkaline battery AA, AAA, C or D battery[16]
3.3V One of the most common low voltage CMOS digital circuit supply voltages.
5V USB power, used for example to charge a cell phone or a digital camera.[17] Also one of the most common digital circuit supply voltages for both TTL and CMOS technologies.
6V A common voltage for medium-size electric lanterns.[18] A voltage for older electric systems of automobiles.
Deca- 101 12V Typical car battery[19]
Hecto- 102 100240V Domestic wall socket voltage[20]
600V Electric eel sends this voltage in an average attack
630V London Underground railway tracks[21]
Kilo- 103 2450V Electric chair execution in Nebraska[22]
310kV Electric fence[23]
335kV Accelerating voltage for a typical television cathode ray tube[24]
3300V Common early urban distribution voltage for grid electricity in the UK (still used for many industrial overhead cable distribution systems)[25]
4160-34,500V Typical voltages in North America for distribution of power from distribution substations to end users[26]
104 15kV Train 15 kV AC railway electrification overhead lines, 16⅔ Hz
25kV European high-speed train overhead power lines[27]
69230kV Range used in North American power high-voltage transmission substations[26]
105 345800kV Range used in EHV power transmission systems[28]
800kV Lowest voltage used by ultra-high voltage (UHV) power transmission systems[29]
Mega- 106 3MV Used by the ultra-high voltage electron microscope at Osaka University[30]
107 25.5MV The largest man-made voltage – produced in a Van de Graaff generator at Oak Ridge National Laboratory[31]
108 100MV The potential difference between the ends of a typical lightning bolt[32]
Peta- 1015 7PV Voltage around a particular energetic highly magnetized rotating neutron star[33]
N/A 1027 1.04×1027V Planck voltage

SI multiples

SI multiples for volt (V)
Submultiples Multiples
Value SI symbol Name Value SI symbol Name
10−1 V dV decivolt 101 V daV decavolt
10−2 V cV centivolt 102 V hV hectovolt
10−3 V mV millivolt 103 V kV kilovolt
10−6 V µV microvolt 106 V MV megavolt
10−9 V nV nanovolt 109 V GV gigavolt
10−12 V pV picovolt 1012 V TV teravolt
10−15 V fV femtovolt 1015 V PV petavolt
10−18 V aV attovolt 1018 V EV exavolt
10−21 V zV zeptovolt 1021 V ZV zettavolt
10−24 V yV yoctovolt 1024 V YV yottavolt


  1. 1 2 "Synaptic transmission". NeuroWiki. Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  2. 1 2 Epstein, Charles M. "Home built EEG". Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  3. Ernst Neidermeyer (1999). "9. The Normal EEG of the Waking Adult". In Niedermeyer, Ernst; Lopes da Silva, F. Electroencephalography: basic principles, clinical applications, and related (PDF) (4th ed.). pp. 149–173. ISBN 0-683-30284-1. Retrieved 1 November 2011. The amplitudes of the scalp EEG are markedly reduced and lie between 10 and 100 μV
  4. eecs.berkeley.edu - Spectrum Sensing, Fundamental Limits and Practical Challenges, page 82, 2005
  5. Decibel#Voltage P=pow(10,-3)*pow(10,(dBmW)/10) ; U=pow(R*P,1/2) ; R=75 Ω ; pow(10,-3)*pow(10,(-85)/10) = 3.162278 pW ; pow(75*pow(10,-3)*pow(10,(-85)/10) , 1/2) = 15.400351 µV
  6. as76.net - How to use the booster. (To see the terrestrial digital broadcasting beautifully.), 2011-12-01
  7. maxim-ic.com - CATV dBm, dBmV, and dBµV Conversions - Tutorial - Maxim, 2002-07-17
  8. Decibel#Voltage pow(10,-6)*pow(10,35/20) = 56 µV
  9. "DC Power Supply Specifications". Radio-Electronics.Com. Retrieved 10 November 2011. Most good supplies should offer noise and ripple figures of better than 10 mV rms and for switching supplies figures of 50mV or less should be achievable
  10. Bullock, Orkand, and Grinnell, pp. 150–151; Junge, pp. 89–90; Schmidt-Nielsen, p. 484
  11. "Pro Audio Reference D". Rane Professional Audio Products. Retrieved 10 November 2011. -10 dBV Standard voltage reference level for consumer and some pro audio use
  12. "Diodes". The Electronics Club. Retrieved 11 November 2011. about 0.7V for all normal diodes which are made from silicon
  13. "Intel Xeon E3-1200v3 family datasheet, a typical LVCMOS chip" (PDF). Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  14. "Lemon Battery". Hila Science Camp. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  15. Nave, Rod. "Standard Electrode Potentials in Aqueous Solution at 25°C". HyperPhysics. Georgia State University. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  16. David Linden, Thomas B. Reddy (ed). Handbook of Batteries, 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2002 ISBN 0-07-135978-8 chapter 4
  17. "About USB-IF". USB Implementers Forum, Inc. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  18. Eveready Battery Company. "EVR-1209 Engineering Data" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  19. Horst Bauer Bosch Automotive Handbook 4th Edition Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart 1996 ISBN 0-8376-0333-1, pages 803807
  20. ita.doc.gov - Electric current abroad
  21. "8. London Underground Facts and Figures". [uk.transport.london] Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  22. "Electrocution protocol questioned". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  23. "Electric Fencing for Pastured Livestock" (PDF). Soil & Crop Improvement Association of Nova Scotia. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  24. "Voltage of a Television Picture Tube". The Physics Factbook. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  25. Isle of Man power distribution.
  26. 1 2 "Electric Power eTool: Illustrated Glossary: Substations". Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (Voltage of a Television Picture Tube). Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  27. Caltrain-Electrification Project
  28. "Definitions: E". Bonneville Power Administration. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  29. "Definitions: TUV". Bonneville Power Administration. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  30. Features of 3 MV Ultrahigh voltage electron microscope
  31. http://www.osti.gov/bridge/purl.cover.jsp?purl=/6446725-T101Ai Oak Ridge Physics Division progress report for period ending September 30, 1988
  32. "Voltage of a Lightning Bolt". The Physics Factbook. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  33. "Chandra Examines a Quadrillion-Volt Pulsar". Chandra X-ray Observatory Center. September 6, 2001. Retrieved 7 March 2010.

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