You are watching: What does by a factor of mean
Speaking as an engineer, I would certainly translate "reduce ... by a factor of ten" as definition "reduce to one tenth of its original value". The new worth would certainly be 10% of the old one, which would certainly be a 90% reduction.
Saying "minimize by 90%" sounds more specific and has actually less emotional impact. "Factor of ten" does not have to expect specifically 10.0.
You"ll periodically hear "order of magnitude" used instead of "element of ten". Technically, they intend nearly the exact same point, but in casual speech "order
EDIT: A lot of world seem to be acquiring this wrong, so I will certainly provide some examples. First, from the Wikipedia short article on orders of magnitude:
An order-of-magnitude distinction in between two worths is a element of 10. For example, the mass of the planet Sarevolve is 95 times that of Earth, so Sarotate is two orders of magnitude more substantial than Planet. Order-of-magnitude differences are referred to as years as soon as measured on a logarithmic scale.
...a typically used dominion of thumb for sound loudness says that an offending sound have to be reduced by a variable of ten in intensity to be diminished to half as loud.
Here"s a more too much example from a page about gravitational wave detection:
In all, noise is diminished by a element of ten billion.
Obviously this doesn"t suppose that the noise was lessened by 0.00000001%, since that would certainly be a ridiculously little distinction.
From a page on chemistry:
Serial dilutions involve diluting a stock or standard solution multiple times in a row. Typically, the dilution variable remains consistent for each dilution, causing an exponential decrease in concentration. For instance, a ten-fold serial dilution might lead to the complying with concentrations: 1 M, 0.1 M, 0.01 M, 0.001 M, and so on. As is evidenced in this instance, the concentration is lessened by a aspect of ten in each action.
From a web page on software application for data backup:
At its worst, we took more than 72 hours for a full backup ... With the Quantum solution, a full backup of our occupational is currently completed in eight to ten hours. The time needed has actually been decreased by a aspect of ten.
From a paper on trash reduction at take-out restaurants:
At Homeplate, the trash has been diminished by a aspect of ten, meaning the usual fifty pounds of trash coming from the venue from each meal (lunch, dinner) has actually lessened to a mere five pounds of trash and five pounds of composting.
See more: Why Is Charcoal A Limited Drawing Medium? ? Why Is Charcoal A Limited Drawing Medium
I found these by Googling "reduced by a aspect of ten" and trying to find papers that pointed out particular numbers. In no instance did I discover anything to indicate that reducing by a factor of ten indicates a 10% reduction. I have actually never heard such a intake and will be incredibly surprised if I ever before execute.