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**Hint:**To find out the smallest prefix among the given prefixes we should know the basic prefixes of decimal values that are used in calculations.

**Complete step by step answer**

There are some groups of letters, which when added to words alters the meaning of the word. They are known as affixes.

A prefix is an affix that is added to the beginning of a word.

A suffix is an affix that is added to the end of a word.

In mathematics the decimal system is represented in prefix to express the power of ten

In physics industry we mainly use few of them, which are

y - yocto $ \to {10^{ - 24}} $

z - zepto $ \to {10^{ - 21}} $

a - atto $ \to {10^{ - 18}} $

f - fermi $ \to {10^{ - 15}} $

p - pico $ \to {10^{ - 12}} $

n - nano $ \to {10^{ - 9}} $

μ - micro $ \to {10^{ - 6}} $

m - milli $ \to {10^{ - 3}} $

c - centi $ \to {\text{ }}{10^{ - 2}} $

d - deci $ \to {\text{ }}{10^{ - 1}} $

Uni $ \to {10^0} $

d - deka ten $ \to {10^1} $

h - hector $ \to {10^2} $

k - kilo $ \to {10^3} $

M - mega $ \to {10^6} $

G - giga $ \to {10^9} $

T - tera $ \to {10^{12}} $

P - peta $ \to {10^{15}} $

E - exa $ \to {10^{18}} $

Z - zetta $ \to {10^{21}} $

Y - yotta $ \to {10^{24}} $

From the above information we can analyse the smallest prefix.

Given,

→milli is ten to the power of minus three i.e. $ - 0.001 $

→nano is ten to the power of minus nine i.e. $ - 0.000000001 $

→fermi is ten to the power of minus fifteen i.e. $ - 0.000000000000001 $

→deci is ten to the power of minus one i.e. $ - 0{\text{ }}.1 $

From the above, we can clearly see that fermi is the smallest prefix.

**Hence the correct answer is option (C); fermi.**

**Note**

The prefix fermi which is ten to the power of minus fifteen is also known as femto. These prefixes are derived from Latin language. We cannot write the measurement of microscopic particles directly in decimals because it will be too long so we are using these prefixes.

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