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If the unit angstrom is named after a person, why isn't it always capitalized like Watt, Newton, Joule, etc?-- (talk) 16:30, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

The units you mention are not capitalised. They are spelled watt, newton and joule. Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:23, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

The use of the word "angstrom", with or without diacritics, should not be capitalized when referring to the unit anywhere in this article. The symbol has the capital Å but the word should use lower case. The article is inconsistent and (usually) wrong. (talk) 20:46, 5 February 2013 (UTC)


I have a question about the statement that the Angstrom is obsolete. The Angstrom is very much alive and well. I don't think you mean to say that it is no longer used, but that could be explained better. Do you mean that it changed when the meter changed? AndyofVermont 03:14, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Angstrom

How would you pronounce "angstrom" in Swedish? An IPA transcription might be useful. 05:19, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

It might be called for, that User:Jor explains more carefully how and why he thinks that the angstrom-symbol "is" different from the Swedish character Å. The symbol is chosen after the initital of the surname Ångström, as far as I understand, in the same way as W is chosen as the symbol for Watt after James Watt.

Please educate me!
--Ruhrjung 17:17, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

As it "might be called for", I will explain User:Ruhrjung that the Angstrom character resembles an Å but tends to be rendered more thinly and with a smaller circle above, just like the Watt W resembles a Latin W but is not identical to it. Perhaps User:Ruhrjung would like to check the Unicode standard? — Jor (Talk) 17:26, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Tat is not a "Unicode standard" for writing these symbols. In fact, that section of Unicode is only included as an accomodation for interpreting things in some old non-Unicode code pages in certain East Asian languages, and it is not for current use in Unicode even in them. The proper symbol for the angstrom is indeed the Swedish letter Å. Gene Nygaard 01:18, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The relevant standard ought not to be Unicode but something from ISO or some physisists' international organization.

To compare the rendering of angstrom-symbol and the Å-character, you could for instance see textbooks in physics in languages where the¨Å-character is domestic.
--Ruhrjung 17:36, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Spelling and article name

Could anyone enlighten me how the Å-unit is written out? Some textbooks write "angstrom" others "angström" and some "ångström" (which should be correct according to the origin of the unit).
--Universalis 10:58, 31 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Well, "ångström" should be the most correct, considering that was the original surname Ångström. I guess angstrom would be acceptable if you are having problems with non-standard characters. Angström seems as a strange compromise for systems that could only handle umlauts...
The "angstrom" spelling is just as correct as "ampere", which is almost always written without an accent mark in English though it has one in French. There is, of course, no internationally standardized spelling for the spelled out words of any of the units (consider the "meter" and "metre" spellings in English, or "chilogrammo" in Italian); it is only the symbols for them which are standardized internationally. Gene Nygaard 01:18, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To be pedantic, it isn't "just as correct", because "å" and "ö" are considered to be distinct letters in Swedish and not "a" and "o" with diacritical marks, which is the situation for "è" in French. Doesn't mean "angstrom" isn't perfectly acceptable though. --BluePlatypus 15:05, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
If I were to be pedantic about it, I'd come to the opposite conclusion and say that it is more correct to use diacritics such as the grave accent in ampère in English that it is to use non-English letters in English. Gene Nygaard 17:24, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
But if you want to use English characters, the 'right' thing to do would be to transliterate the letters (as in your surname), so "Aangstroem". --BluePlatypus 17:05, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I just converted the page to "angstrom", becuase that is the most common spelling of this unit in English. From WP:NAME, "Name your pages in English..." and "Use the most common name of a person or thing..." --Srleffler 22:59, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

And I moved it back for several reasons:
1. There was no discussion and/or concensus.
2. It is disrespectfull to Ångström to bastardize his name.
3. Ångström is much more internationally recognized than the bastardized version.
4. The diacritics indicate it is a foreign word, so they aid in pronunciation.

Cameron Nedland 23:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

1. And there was no discussion or consensus for your move back either
2. It is not a bastardization of his name.
3. It is disrespectful for you to not recognize the simple fact that it is quite proper and legitimate to use the English alphabet when writing in English. This blatant disrespect is exemplified not so much by your moving of the page, but rather by your totally improper removal of that spelling from the page.
4. Then, on top of everything else, you changed the indexing sort keys so that this article was missorted in its categories. Please go read Wikipedia:Categorization.
5. It is not a foreign word.
6. The Swedes don't use diacritics in sv:meter, unlike the French inventors do in fr:mètre, and the Swedes don't use diacritics in sv:ampere any more than the English do. In other words, the spelling of the words is determined in each language. What is international is the symbols for the units.
7. It is, in fact, best known in English under the quite legitimate and proper "angstrom" spelling. Gene Nygaard 03:09, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, the name of the scientist is properly spelled "Ångström". But the name of the unit (which is a different thing, not the same thing as the scientist) is almost always spelled "angstrom" in modern English texts (and even pronounnced as an English word). So the older/rarer spelling should be mentioned too, but the most common one must come first, and the article must be renamed accordingly. Jorge Stolfi (talk) 23:09, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I just checked Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (2078pp, 1989). It lists Jonas Ångström and an Ångström crater on some planet; but for the unit, it gives "angstrom" ou "angstrom unit", says that the name may be capitalized --- and does not even mention the spelling with diacritics.
    The article definitely must be moved back to "angstrom". Jorge Stolfi (talk) 02:12, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

10-10 or 10-12?

Shouldn't it bother you guys that on this page it says that an angstrom is equal to both 10^-10 and 10^-12 meters? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

People who don't know what they are talking about bother me more. Maybe you have difficulty understanding what 100×10−12 means? Gene Nygaard 08:59, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I mistook it for 10^-12 too, it would seem rather odd to state it as 100^-12, surely less confusion if it is stated the first way. Unless there is a specific reason for this.

I'll be another who got took in by the 100X10^-12 vs. 10^-10 confusion. The mixing of SI units and is much more cumbersome than relating everything to the meter. The information I was looking for was "How many angstroms in a meter", and I'd expect the answer to be the exponent, not an arbitrary multiple of 10^-10.

In addition, the 100 X 10^-9 mm is just confusing.

Zero light-years?

Why does it state that an angstrom is 0 LY? I know that its really really close to 0 when compared to LY, but it would be inaccurate to actually state it is 0 LY, since its base unit is defined in distance light travels in an ammount of time anyways.

Also, why does the article give the measurement in 100 times an amount? Why isn't it just a straight-up amount? It seems that this has already caused confusion, and I don't see a reason for it to be that way.

That was rediculous. Not zero but about Template:Convert ... but, of course, such a conversion is not necessary on the page. JIMp talk·cont 03:05, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Page moves

Please take any requested moves to WP:RM and avoid unilateral actions. Regards, Asteriontalk 12:08, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I am not sure whether the tutorial on how to represent the symbol in computers is encyclopedic. Asteriontalk 12:10, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
It may be encyclopædic but it still doesn't belong here. JIMp talk·cont 03:06, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Usage of official transliteration

Can we have a reference for "aangstroem" being the official transliteration? Can we also have a comment on whether this is just a transliteration of the name or of the unit as well, and whether it has any official status as the name of the unit? My understanding is that the unit is either "ångström" or "angstrom". I have never seen "aangstroem" used before. — Paul G 13:59, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

One thought on reality and "aangstroem": While I have no idea whatever where the single monolithic “official” policy for transliterating Swedish surnames into English comes from, the simple fact is that “angstrom” is the ubiquitous conventional English word for this unit of measure, not “aangstroem.” The way the article is written now is misleading in that suggests to the casual reader that the “official” word for the unit using the English alphabet is “aangstroem,” which, in reality, it is not. Right now it reads “An ångström or aangstroem (the official transliteration), or angstrom (symbol Å) . . . ” The word “aangstroem” should be deleted or put in a less misleading context. This is not the place for an uphill crusade to regularize transliteration of Swedish surnames when used for eponymous units of measure. In other words, it is really beside the point to even mention “aangstroem” if almost everyone uses “angstrom” instead of “aangstroem.” If “aangstroem” is mentioned, it must be in a way that shows its relative obscurity. Changing it to “An ångström (sometimes transliterated “aangstroem”), or angstrom (symbol Å) . . . ” would be less misleading, but it is still messy. I won't do it myself, because I don't care enough to fight over it.
According to the IUPAC Green book "Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry" (which is of course a subject where the use of this unit is ubiquitous, as compared to say Physics where nm is probably more common, as alluded to in the text) the recommendation seems to be for "ångström" for the unit (not angstrom or aangstroem or any other variation) so as far as I am concerned this should be the only variant used. The book can be seen in pdf format at for reference.- Azo bob 18:50, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
"Aangstroem" gets a mere 785 Google hits. The only "official" name for the unit as far as I know is "Ångström", and there is no such thing as an offical transliteration scheme for Swedish. Therefore I'm removing "aangstroem". EldKatt (Talk) 16:38, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposed WikiProject

Right now the content related to the various articles relating to measurement seems to be rather indifferently handled. This is not good, because at least 45 or so are of a great deal of importance to Wikipedia, and are even regarded as Vital articles. On that basis, I am proposing a new project at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Measurement to work with these articles, and the others that relate to the concepts of measurement. Any and all input in the proposed project, including indications of willingness to contribute to its work, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your attention. John Carter 20:50, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Bizarre mixed engineering/scientific notation

In the infobox at the top right of the page, the angstrom is related to the meter with the strange relation "100E-12 m". This is, in my view, an unusual (to say the least) combination of engineering and scientific notation. The limitation to powers of multiples of three is only ever used with letter prefixes, such as in "100 pm". Unless someone comes forward to defend this entry, I will change it to "1E-10 m" in a day or so, and accordingly for the nanometer. 08:58, 11 September 2007 (UTC) (edited 09:01, 11 September 2007 (UTC))

You mention engineering notation, so you should be quite well aware that your statement "The limitation to powers of multiples of three is only ever used with letter prefixes, such as in "100 pm"" is false. In fact, engineering notation is rarely used in conjunction with a symbol containing a prefix, except maybe with kg since kilograms are the SI base unit. In other words, it might be either 100 E-12 m or 100×10−12 m using engineering notation, or 100 pm using prefixes, but not some combination such as 100×10−6 µm using both prefixes and engineering notation. Gene Nygaard (talk) 20:36, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

How common is the term micron?

The article claims that the non-standard term micron is commonly used. Is it? Is this old term not being replaced by the standard SI term micrometre (or same term spelt another way)? Heaps of Google hits, sure, but they mostly don't seem to refer to the unit. Is it common? Is it even still remembered? AHD says "No longer in technical use." JIMp talk·cont 08:54, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

AHD is wrong; micron is definitely in technical use (and it's not nonstandard, just non-SI; not the same thing at all). In my experience no one says micrometer, at least in EDA. SI fundamentalists make me tired. --Trovatore (talk) 03:05, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

... On the other hand, why do we need all this chat about the micrometre? We're talking about the ångström. JIMp talk·cont 09:09, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

... In fact the whole paragraph was redundant since the relationship with SI units were given in the intro. I've deleted it. JIMp talk·cont 19:14, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Angstroms in a Parsec?

How many? (talk) 20:50, 2 September 2008 (UTC)ök&meta= —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Template:Convert JIMp talk·cont 07:29, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Pronunciation again

From the IPA given i gather that it should be pronounced something like ongstrem? But does any English speaker outside of Scandinavia actually say it like that or do they use normal English rules to say it - something like /æŋstrɒm/? Given the argument that it is an English word as well, wouldn't it be correct to say the name of the unit with English orthography when speaking English? If so, then couldn't it be wrong to say it with Swedish pronunciation when speaking English? However I would pronounce the surname with the correct Swedish sounds even when speaking English. (talk) 23:34, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved per discussion below. There wasn't exactly a consensus, but the arguments in opposition of the move were adequately addressed by those supporting it. - GTBacchus(talk) 19:21, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

ÅngströmTemplate:No redirect – This page was originally named "angstrom". It was renamed "Ångström" without discussion, a move that raised complaints by other editors (see above). In Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English language, the only variants recorded are "angstrom" and "angstrom unit" (with optional capitalization of the "A"). The two entries for the spelling "Ångström" are the Swedish physicist and a planetary crater. (One may want to consider here also the authoritative opinion of the judges of the 27th annual Boone Winnebago Regional Spelling Bee.) A move to the former name is requested in order to comply with the general principles of English Wikipedia. Jorge Stolfi (talk) 04:17, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Mild oppose: IUPAC says "ångström", and they are pretty authoritative in this field. A lot of people probably use "angstrom" but it appears to be technically correct as is. –CWenger (^@) 04:46, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
    • I checked the Green Book, and it does not seem to make any attempt to standardize the unit or its name. It only mentions the "ångström" in examples and in tables of conversion factors for non-standard units. The clearest reference to it occurs in a footnote on page 27, which says "Interatomic (internuclear) distances and vibrational displacements are commonly expressed in the non-SI unit ångström, where 1 Å = Template:E m = 0.1 nm = 100 pm. Å should not be used". On page 135 it even apologizes "The inclusion of non-SI units in these table should not be taken to imply that their use is to be encouraged". So the Green Book is not dictating the spelling of the unit (which would be outside IUPAC's mandate, BTW, even if it were a SI unit), but merely using what they think is the common or proper English spelling (which they probably got wrong). Or perhaps they used that spelling for political correctness towards their international readership. In summary, IUPAC is not (and does not pretend to be) an authority on this question. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 16:12, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I've seen it as Ångstrom. (talk) 05:55, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
    • I have seen that too. We should record it as a variant spelling --- even though it makes even less sense than "ångström". --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 16:12, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Neutral For what it's worth, BIPM suggests ångström. [1]. I see it both ways often enough... I don't think it really matters as long as both variants are listed in the first sentence of the article. --Steve (talk) 01:33, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
    • The relevant quote is again a footnote to a table of "Non-SI units accepted for use with the SI, and units based on fundamental constants", saying "The ångström is widely used by x-ray crystallographers and structural chemists because all chemical bonds lie in the range 1 to 3 ångströms. However it has no official sanction from the CIPM or the CGPM." Like the Green Book reference, this counts as a usage of the spelling "ångström", but hardly as a suggestion, much less an authoritative one.

Support Merriam Webster and Oxford both give "angstrom". Britannica and Columbia Encyclopedia both give "angstrom" for the unit, "Anders Jonas Ångström" for the scientist. For SI units, BIPM and IUPAC are authorities to consider alongside the dictionaries and encyclopedias. But this isn't an SI unit, so there is no reason to refer to them at all. Kauffner (talk) 12:47, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Support. The article lead currently reads the unit's name is almost always spelled without diacritics in modern English texts, with a citation (Websters, 1989, also quoted above), it has said this for a while now [2] and this claim doesn't seem to be challenged above, what is being argued instead is what should be used. Wikipedia policy is to use what is being used. Andrewa (talk) 15:21, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Oppose The unit is named ångström after Anders Jonas Ångström. It's symbol is Å. The only reason you see "angstrom" is because most of those who write in English don't know how to type å or ö on a US English keyboard. It's the same reason you often see Schrodinger instead of Schrödinger or its proper diacritic-less version, Schroedinger. BIPM and IUPAC trumps anything Merriam Webster or Oxford has to say about it. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 03:38, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

The volt is named after Alessandro Volta, the farad after Michael Faraday, and the ampere after André-Marie Ampère, for that matter. A. di M.plédréachtaí 21:45, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Oppose The IUPAC gold book describes the unit as "ångström" and the symbol is Å. --Andreas (talk) 00:52, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Support per Andrewa. BTW, the BIMP says other provably false stuff about English, e.g. that the tonne is commonly called metric ton in English-speaking countries (isn't Britain one?).A. di M.plédréachtaí 21:51, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Displaying lower case title

Although it is wikistandard to upper case the first letter of a title, in this situation the reader may wonder which is correct usage. To display the title in lower clarifies this issue. I note that that lower casing the title itself was proposed in the recently approved RM. This not technically possible, but I did modify the display appropriately. Kauffner (talk) 14:59, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

How does angstrom differ from ampere, kelvin, palaeontology or bicycle, none of which have the title displayed in lowercase? As for “reader[s who] wonder which is correct usage”, the first sentence after the hatnote starts with “The angstrom”., duh. I'm reverting that. A. di M.plédréachtaí 15:27, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Template for the symbol?

Is there a template for inserting this symbol into articles? I'm seeing some variation with how its being depicted. Thanks.DavidRF (talk) 18:39, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Not that I'm aware of. It's OK imho to have multiple variations as long as they all look OK. Let me try:
Yikes, the math mode one is pretty bad. It shouldn't be italics. (It's not wikimedia's fault, this is what LaTeX always does.) There are a bunch of suggestions for a prettier angstrom sign here, but none of them work. I just tried <math>\mbox{\normalfont\AA}</math>, <math>\text{\AA}</math>, <math>\angstrom</math>, <math>\textup{\AA}</math>,, and others, but none of them parse.
Aha! Found one: <math>\text{Å}</math> --> , a good-looking angstrom sign in math mode.
Actually this is very strange. It seems to work on some wikimedia servers but not others. For example,
<math>\lambda = \sqrt{(4\,\text{Å}) \cdot \ell}</math> --> is working during some page previews but not others...
I think the next step would be to raise this issue at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)...
So all that stuff is about the ugliness of math-mode angstrom sign. Is that the issue you're talking about? Or are there other issues too? --Steve (talk) 16:48, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Inline text should use Template:Unichar. -DePiep (talk) 16:54, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
DePiep - how about "Click the button in the wiki editing toolbox to insert a special character ... open the Latin menu ... click on the one that looks like an angstrom sign." Is that OK advice for how to insert the angstrom sign in inline text?
Have you ever seen anyone (incorrectly) use any other characters for the angstrom sign, besides the one that you're suggesting? --Steve (talk) 22:25, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that produces the same character, the correct character to be used. I was answering the OP: is there a template? - my answer: no, we don't have templates for regular characters. And: it can be entered by HTML character ID, which is convenient for most keyboards. In general, outside of math and graphics, so in regular inline text, the font is preferred, not a graph. The question was not about which character is to be used, as you write, but how to produce it. -DePiep (talk) 09:55, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
It was me that asked the original question. Its a non-ASCII symbol and there are at least two Unicode characters for it -- Å Å -- which don't render same on different browsers, fonts, etc. Additionally, I saw a page where the symbol looked a bit more funnier than that and edited the page and saw that the raw non-ASCII character had just been pasted in. Seeing the two unicode possibilities, I didn't know how to fix it. (Unfortunately, I can't find that page, now). In the music pages that I frequent, they have templates for commonly used non-ascii characters. We're supposed to use template:sharp (Template:Sharp) or or music:template|sharp (Template:Music) over the raw non-ascii character (♯) and certainly never use the nearest ascii approximate pound/hash (#) -- so I thought there might be something similar here. But, if you've never had the need here and get away with just pasting in the non-ASCII symbol from somewhere, then I'll just do that.DavidRF (talk) 19:39, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Good points. So there is also Template:Unichar (next to Template:Unichar). Unicode says: "preferred representation is 00C5" [3], I think we should follow that. The music template is nice indeed, but there are other editors who do not like any character producing template. At least this symbol is also at hand in the drop down box (music is not). -DePiep (talk) 22:24, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh, the special character drop-down box. That's the obvious solution which had somehow escaped me. I'll use that. Thatnks.DavidRF (talk) 14:20, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of the name

As a Swedish speaker, I find the name slightly curious. Many common Swedish family names have the component "ström" (Bergström, Strömberg, etc; see also Swedish name) but "Ång-" is a weird one. I would understand it to refer to steam, but perhaps there is a dialectal or regional word root with a different meaning? As such, the name could be translated into "steam stream". I guess this piece of trivia is not fit for the article text, but if you are reading this, enjoy (-:-- era (Talk | History) 10:50, 17 December 2012 (UTC)