How long is a nanosecond?


Quick Answer

A nanosecond is one-billionth of a second. It can be used in a general sense to mean a very short moment that is not quite instantaneous.

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Full Answer

Computer memory is can be measured in nanoseconds. Generally, computer memory, in order to access information, can take from 10 to 80 nanoseconds on average. This depends on the hardware of the computer in question.

Admiral Grace Hopper, a computer science pioneer, was known to pass out 11.8-inch pieces of wire in her lectures. She would go on to explain that the wire represented the maximum distance electricity (or any type of radiation) could travel in the span of a nanosecond.

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