Square Metres

"M^2" redirects here. For other uses, see M² (disambiguation).

The square metre (International spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures) or square meter (American spelling) is the SI derived unit of area, with symbol m2 (33A1 in Unicode[1]). It is defined as the area of a square whose sides measure exactly one metre. The square metre is derived from the SI base unit of the metre, which itself is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in absolute vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.

Adding and subtracting SI prefixes creates multiples and submultiples; however, as the unit is squared, the order of magnitude difference between units doubles from their comparable linear units. For example, a kilometre is one thousand times the length of a metre, but a square kilometre is one million times the area of a square metre.

SI prefixes applied to the square metre

The square metre may be used with all SI prefixes used with the meter.

Multiplication Name Symbol Multiplication Name Symbol
100 square metre (centiare) m2 100 square metre (centiare) m2
102 square decametre (are) dam2 10–2 square decimetre dm2
104 square hectometre (hectare) hm2 10–4 square centimetre cm2
106 square kilometre km2 10–6 square millimetre mm2
1012 square megametre Mm2 10–12 square micrometre µm2
1018 square gigametre Gm2 10–18 square nanometre nm2
1024 square terametre Tm2 10–24 square picometre pm2
1030 square petametre Pm2 10–30 square femtometre fm2
1036 square exametre Em2 10–36 square attometre am2
1042 square zettametre Zm2 10–42 square zeptometre zm2
1048 square yottametre Ym2 10–48 square yoctometre ym2


A square metre is equal to:

See also


External links

  • BIPM (SI maintenance agency) (home page)
  • BIPM brochure (SI reference)
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