k vs. K

Subject: k vs. K
From: Frank Saucier <Frank_Saucier -at- WARREN -dot- MENTORG -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 17:29:26 EST

Here's what I found from the IEEE and JEDEC resources I have.

1) The symbol "k" (lower-case) for kilo means 1000 and is always
combined with another symbol (e.g., kV, kHz), whereas, in the
context of memory size, the symbol "K" (upper-case) means 1024
and is always combined with a number followed by a term relating
to units of memory (e.g., 64K bits, 64K bytes).

2) Always space between numberical values and unit symbols
(e.g., 10 V, 5 mA) except when used as an adjective modifier to
a noun, in which case a hyphen should be inserted betwen the number
and the symbol (e.g., a 15-V battery). However, no space is used
between a number and the following: the percent sign (e.g., 5%);
the symbols for degree, minute, and second of plane angle; the
degree Celsius; or the symbol "K" (upper-case) when used to
designate memory size.

3) While the degree symbol is used for Celsius and Fahrenheit, it
is no longer used for Kelvin (the degree symbol was abandoned
for the Kelvin scale in 1967).

According to the above rules:

15,000 amperes = 15 kA
15,000 bytes = 15K bytes (commonly shown as 15KB)
15 degrees Kelvin = 15 K
15 milliamperes = 15 mA = .015 amperes
15,000,000 volts = 15 MV = 15 megavolts
15,000,000 bits = 15M bits (commonly shown as 15MB)

See you on the net.


Frank Saucier / fsaucier -at- warren -dot- mentorg -dot- com / Mentor Graphics Corp.

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