The metre (or meter; US spelling) is the SI base unit of length and uses the symbol m.
Originally defined in 1793 as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole but was redefined in 1799 in terms of a prototyped metre bar (this bar was changed again in 1889).
In 1983 the current definition was adopted and it is now the most common unit in any property in the world and is used in thousands of formulae to describe countless characteristics.
Let's hear it for the metre!
The micrometre (American spelling micrometer) is a unit of length and is a multiple of the SI unit metre. It uses the symbol μm.
It represents one millionth of a metre and is also known by its previously depreciated name micron.
In the US, the term 'micron' helped distinguish the unit name from the device 'micrometer' but the International System of Units (SI) discontinued this term in favour of micrometre as the prefix system required the use of the Greek symbol 'μ' which invoked the factor x10−6.