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Square metre
The square meter is the SIderived unit of area. It has a 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 in turn 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 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.
A "square metre" is not the same thing as a "metre square" ^{[2]}  although it is true that exactly 1 square metre is exactly 1 meter square. But that only works for the numbers 1 and 0; no others.
For example, a square that is 2 metres long and 2 metres wide has 4 square metres of area.
2m * 2m = 4m^{2}
But a square that is 4 metres squared would have 4 metres on each side. This means it would have 16 square metres of area.
4m * 4m = 16m^{2}
That is, (4m)^{2} is 4 meters squared, whereas 4m^{2} is 4 square meters.
Contents
SI prefixes applied to the square metre
The square metre may be used with all SI prefixes used with the metre.
Multiple  Name  Symbol  Multiple  Name  Symbol  

10^{0}  square metre (centiare)  m²  10^{0}  square metre (centiare)  m²  
10^{2}  square decametre (are)  dam²  10^{−2}  square decimetre  dm²  
10^{4}  square hectometre (hectare)  hm²  10^{−4}  square centimetre  cm²  
10^{6}  square kilometre  km²  10^{−6}  square millimetre  mm²  
10^{12}  square megametre  Mm²  10^{−12}  square micrometre  µm²  
10^{18}  square gigametre  Gm²  10^{−18}  square nanometre  nm²  
10^{24}  square terametre  Tm²  10^{−24}  square picometre  pm²  
10^{30}  square petametre  Pm²  10^{−30}  square femtometre  fm²  
10^{36}  square exametre  Em²  10^{−36}  square attometre  am²  
10^{42}  square zettametre  Zm²  10^{−42}  square zeptometre  zm²  
10^{48}  square yottametre  Ym²  10^{−48}  square yoctometre  ym² 
Conversions
A square metre is equal to:
 0.000 001 square kilometre (km²)
 10,000 square centimetres (cm²)
 0.000 1 hectares (ha)
 0.01 ares (a)
 1 centiare (ca)
 0.000 247 105 381 acres
 1.195 990 square yards
 10.763 911 square feet
 1,550.003 1 square inches
Related pages
Notes
 ↑ "Unicode Utilities: Character Properties". http://unicode.org/cldr/utility/character.jsp?a=33A1.
 ↑ mathforum.org Miles squared vs. square miles.
Other websites
 BIPM (SI maintenance agency) (home page)
 BIPM brochure (SI reference)
