If something is twice as large as something else, it catches our interest.

But if something is ten times larger than something else, it proves itself to be

fundamentally important, fundamentally different just because of the magnitude or

size of that scale change.

So the nice thing about the powers of ten approach and

centering the idea around ten times larger, ten times smaller to start with,

is that then, we can put the concept of describing length scales and

time scales, into a ten by ten by ten basis.

So we can say is something 10 times larger,

is it 100 times larger, is it 1000 times larger.

And if we go to the concept of something being 10 times larger,

then if we put the framework of 10 into exponential notation,

which goes to the point of saying that we put the number 10, and

then we make a small exponent that tells us how many 0's come after that 10,

is it 10, is it a 100, is it a 1,000?

10 to the first is 10, 10 to the second is 100, and 10 to the third is 1000.

And by focusing on the exponent instead of saying

out all the zeros in terms of the number, like the word 1000,

then we can say that this microbial cell is ten to the third

larger than some of the molecules that make up the DNA of that microbial cell.

Then we can just drop off the ten part of the description, and

we can focus just on the exponent, which is three.

So if something is a 1000 times larger than something else,

then we say that object is three powers of ten greater.

So something that 10 times larger is one power of ten.

Something that's a 100 times larger is two powers of ten and so

forth, and we go in the opposite direction when something is two

powers of ten smaller than something else that means it's a 100 times smaller.

So this powers of 10 are conceptualization and framework is really powerful for us.

And another phrase that we're going to be using throughout the emergence of life

course is that we also say that one power of ten is one order of magnitude.

So, something, that's 10 times larger than something else is one power of ten larger,

and it also can be described as one order of magnitude larger.