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Range of magn|tudes of quant|t|es |n our
Physics seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very large to the very
small. At the large end, the size of the visible universe is thought to be around
m, and the age of the universe some 10
s. The total mass of the universe is
estimated to be 10
The reaIm of physics 1.1
!.!.! Slale and compare quanlilies lo lhe nearesl order ol magnilude.
!.!.2 Slale lhe ranges ol magnilude ol dislances, masses and limes lhal
occur in lhe universe, lrom lhe smallesl lo lhe largesl.
!.!.3 Slale ralios ol quanlilies as dillerenl orders ol magnilude.
!.!.4 Lslimale approximale values ol everyday quanlilies lo one or lwo
signilcanl lgures and/or lo lhe nearesl order ol magnilude.
|c. Jc .o krc. .|| t||s |s t.uo`
\|.t || t|o.o |s nc.o t|.r cro
A p|.rot ..s .ocort|y J|sccvo.oJ |r
t|o ccrsto||.t|cr ||b.. (.bcut 20 ||g|t
yo..s |.cn |..t|) t|.t |.s .|| t|o .|g|t
ccrJ|t|crs tc suppc.t .||or |||o ¯||s
..t|sts |np.oss|cr s|c.s us |c. |t
|ost n.ss |s t|o n.ss c| . p..t|c|o
.|or .t .ost, t|o n.ss |rc.o.sos ||
t|o p..t|c|o ncvos |.st orcug|
|| .o c.r sp||t .r .tcn .|y c.rt
.o sp||t .r o|oct.cr`
The diameter of an atom is about 10
m, and of a nucleus 10
m. The smallest
particles may be the quarks, probably less than 10
m in size, but there is a much
smaller fundamental unit of length, called the Planck length, which is around 10
There are good reasons for believing that this is a lower limit for length, and we
accept the speed of light in a vacuum to be an upper limit for speed (3 × 10
This enables us to calculate an approximate theoretical lower limit for time:
If the quarks are truly fundamental, then their mass would give us a lower limit.
Quarks hide themselves inside protons and neutrons so it is not easy to measure
them. Our best guess is that the mass of the lightest quark, called the UPQUARK, is
kg, and this is also the approximate rest mass of the electron.
You need to be able to state ratios of quantities as differences of orders of magnitude.
For example, the approximate ratio of the diameter of an atom to its nucleus is:
is known as a difference of fve orders of magnitude.
Scno p|ys|c|sts t||rk t|.t t|o.o ..o
st||| urJ|sccvo.oJ p..t|c|os .|cso
s|.o |s ..curJ t|o ||.rck |orgt|
\|.t ..o t|o .o.scrs |c. t|o.o
bo|rg . |c.o. ||n|t |c. |orgt|`
\|y s|cu|J t|o.o bo . |c.o. ||n|t
|.cJuct|cr .rJ Joc.y c| bcttcn ,u..ks
¯|o.o ..o s|x typos c| ,u..ks c.||oJ VQ,
EPXO, DIBSN, TUSBOHF, UPQ .rJ CPUUPN
Figure 1.1 ¯|o ox.ct pcs|t|cr c|
o|oct.crs |r .r .tcn |s urco.t.|r, .o
c.r cr|y s.y .|o.o t|o.o |s . ||g|
p.cb.b|||ty c| |rJ|rg t|on
This is not a small ratio; it means that if the atom were as big as a football pitch,
then the nucleus would be about the size of a pea on the centre circle. This implies
that most of the atoms of all matter consist of entirely empty space.
Another example is that the ratio of the rest mass of the proton to the rest mass of
the electron is of the order:
1.67 × 10
9.11 × 10
2 × 10
You should be able to do these estimations without using a calculator.
You also need to be able to estimate approximate values of everyday quantities to
one or two signifcant fgures.
For example, estimate the answers to the following:
How high is a two-storey house in metres:
What is the diameter of the pupil of your eye:
How many times does your heart beat in an hour when you are relaxed:
What is the weight of an apple in newtons:
What is the mass of the air in your bedroom:
What pressure do you exert on the ground when standing on one foot:
There is help with these estimates at the end of the chapter.
Measurement and uncertainties 1.2
!.2.! Slale lhe lundamenlal unils in lhe Sl syslem.
!.2.2 Dislinguish belween lundamenlal and derived unils and give
examples ol derived unils.
!.2.3 Converl belween dillerenl unils ol quanlilies.
!.2.4 Slale unils in lhe accepled Sl lormal.
!.2.5 Slale values in scienlilc nolalion and in mulliples ol unils wilh
!.2.6 Describe and give examples ol random and syslemalic errors.
!.2.7 Dislinguish belween precision and accuracy.
!.2.8 Lxplain how lhe ellecls ol random errors may be reduced.
!.2.9 Calculale quanlilies and resulls ol calculalions lo lhe appropriale
number ol signilcanl lgures.
!.2.!0 Slale uncerlainlies as absolule, lraclional and percenlage uncerlainlies.
!.2.!! Delermine lhe uncerlainlies in resulls.
!.2.!2 ldenlily uncerlainlies as error bars in graphs.
!.2.!3 Slale random uncerlainly as an uncerlainly range () and represenl il
graphically as an 'error bar'.
!.2.!4 Delermine lhe uncerlainlies in lhe slope and inlercepls ol a slraighl
1 ¯|o J|.noto. c| . p.ctcr |s c| t|o c.Jo. c| n.gr|tuJo c|
n b 10
n ´ 10
n | 10
|| ncst c| t|o .tcn |s onpty sp.co
.|y Jcos stu| |oo| sc sc||J`
The SI system of fundamenta| and der|ved un|ts
If you want to measure something, you have to use a unit. For example, it is useless
to say that a person`s mass is 10, 60, 140 or 600 if we do not know whether it is
measured in kilograms or some other unit such as stones or pounds. In the old
days, units were rather random; your mass might be measured in stones, but your
height would not be measured in sticks, but in feet.
Soon after the French Revolution, the International System of units was developed.
They are called the SI units because SI stands for Système International.
There are seven base, or fundamental, SI units and they are listed in the table
Name Symbol CohcepI
melre or meler m lenglh
kilogram kg mass
second s second
ampere A eleclric currenl
kelvin K lemperalure
mole mol amounl ol maller
candela cd inlensily ol lighl
Mechanics is the study of matter, motion, forces and energy. With combinations
of the frst three base units (metre, kilogram and second), we can develop all the
other units of mechanics.
As the concepts become more complex, we give them new units. The derived SI
units you will need to know are as follows:
Name Symbol CohcepI
8rokeh dowh ihIo
base SI uhiIs
newlon N lorce or weighl kg m s
joule J energy or work kg m
wall W power kg m
pascal Pa pressure kg m
herlz Hz lrequency s
coulomb C eleclric charge As
voll V polenlial dillerence kg m
ohm U resislance kg m
lesla T magnelic leld slrenglh kg s
weber Wb magnelic lux kg m
becquerel 8q radioaclivily s
Scno pocp|o t||rk t|o |cct ..s
b.soJ cr, c. Jo|roJ by, t|o |orgt|
c| t|o |cct c| .r |rg||s| k|rg, but |t
c.r bo t..coJ b.ck tc t|o .rc|ort
¯|o syston c| ur|ts .o rc. c.|| S|
..s c.|g|r.||y Jovo|cpoJ cr t|o
c.Jo.s c| ||rg |cu|s `\| c| |..rco
¯|o ur|t |c. |orgt| ..s Jo|roJ
|r to.ns c| t|o J|st.rco |.cn t|o
o,u.tc. tc t|o pc|o, t||s J|st.rco
..s J|v|JoJ |rtc 10 000 o,u.| p..ts
.rJ t|oso .o.o c.||oJ k||cnot.os
¯|o ur|t |c. n.ss ..s Jo|roJ |r
to.ns c| pu.o ..to. .t . co.t.|r
tonpo..tu.o, cro ||t.o (c. 1000 cn
|.s . n.ss c| ox.ct|y cro k||cg..n
|ut .rct|o. ..y, 1 cn
|.s . n.ss c| ox.ct|y 1 g..n
¯|o ur|ts c| t|no gc b.ck tc t|o
.rc|orts, .rJ t|o soccrJ ..s
s|np|y .ccoptoJ .s . |..ct|cr
c| . sc|.. J.y ¯|o b.so ur|t |c.
o|oct.|c|ty, t|o .npo.o, |s Jo|roJ
|r to.ns c| t|o |c.co bot.oor t.c
cu..ortc...y|rg .|.os .rJ t|o ur|t
|c. tonpo..tu.o, t|o ko|v|r, ccnos
|.cn .r o..||o. sc.|o Jovo|cpoJ by
. S.oJ|s| n.r c.||oJ ´o|s|us
1 Give units for the following expressed as (i) the derived unit (ii) base SI units:
(b) kinetic energy.
2 Check if these equations work by substituting units into them.
(a) power = work/time or energy/time
(b) power = force × velocity
1 (a) (i) N (ii) kg × (m s
) or kg m s
(b) (i) J (ii) kg (m s
or kg m
2 (a) W : J/s or W : (kg m
)/s or W : kg m
(b) W : N × (m s
) or W : (kg m s
) × (m s
) or W : kg m
In addition to the above, there are also a few important units that are not
technically SI, including:
Name Symbol CohcepI
lilre l volume
minule, hour, year, elc. min, h, y, elc. lime
kilowall-hour kWh energy
eleclronvoll eV energy
degrees celsius °C lemperalure
decibel d8 loudness
uniled alomic mass unil u mass ol nucleon
|c.co = n.ss × .cco|o..t|cr
k|rot|c oro.gy =
2 \||c| one c| t|o |c||c.|rg ur|ts |s . ur|t c| oro.gy`
A o\ b \ s
´ \ n
| | n s
3 \||c| one c| t|o |c||c.|rg ||sts . Jo.|voJ ur|t .rJ . |urJ.nort.| ur|t`
A .npo.o soccrJ
b ccu|cnb k||cg..n
´ ccu|cnb ro.tcr
| not.o k||cg..n
Convert these units to SI:.
(a) year (b) ºC (c) kWh (d) eV
(a) 1 year = 1 × 365 days × 24 hours × 60 minutes × 60 seconds
(b) Here are some common conversions:
0 K = 273 ºC
273 K = 0 ºC
300 K = 27 ºC
373 K = 100 ºC
(c) 1 kWh (energy) = 1000 W (power) × 3600 s (time)
= 3 600 000 J
= 3.6 10
(d) electrical energy = electric charge × potential difference
1 eV = 1.6 × 10
C × 1 V
= 1.6 10
The SI units can be modifed by the use of prefxes such as MILLI as in millimetre
(mm) and KILO as in kilometre (km). The number conversions on the prefxes are
always the same; MILLI always means one thousandth or 10
and KILO always means
one thousand or 10
These are the most common SI prefxes:
Preñx AbbreviaIion VaIue
lera T !0
giga C !0
mega M !0
kilo k !0
cenli c !0
milli m !0
micro µ !0
nano n !0
pico p !0
lemlo l !0
£xaminer's hint: ¯c c|.rgo k||c..tt
|cu.s tc ¦cu|os |rvc|vos us|rg t|o
oro.gy = pc.o. × t|no
1 k\ = 1000 \
.rJ 1 |cu. = 60 × 60 soccrJs
£xaminer's hint: ¯|o o|oct.crvc|t
|s Jo|roJ .s t|o oro.gy g.|roJ by .r
o|oct.cr .cco|o..toJ t|.cug| . pctort|.|
J||o.orco c| cro vc|t Sc t|o o|oct.crvc|t
|s o,u.| tc t|o c|..go cr .r o|oct.cr
nu|t|p||oJ by cro vc|t
4 ´|.rgo 2 360 000 ' tc sc|ort||c rct.t|cr .rJ tc V '
5 A pcpu|.. ..J|c st.t|cr |.s . |.o,uorcy c| 1 090 000 |. ´|.rgo t||s tc sc|ort||c rct.t|cr .rJ tc V|.
6 ¯|o .vo..go ..vo|orgt| c| .||to ||g|t |s 50 × 10
n \|.t .cu|J t||s bo |r r.rcnot.os`
7 ¯|o t|no t.kor |c. ||g|t tc c.css . .ccn |s .bcut 1 × 10
soccrJs ´|.rgo t||s |rtc
£xaminer's hint: ¯|o s|.o c| cro
Jog.oo ´o|s|us |s t|o s.no .s cro |o|v|r
t|o J||o.orco |s .|o.o t|oy st..t, c. t|o
.o.c pc|rt ¯|o ccrvo.s|cr |rvc|vos .JJ|rg
c. subt..ct|rg 23 S|rco .bsc|uto .o.c c.
0 | |s o,u.| tc 23 ´, tonpo..tu.o |r
´ = tonpo..tu.o |r | 23
Uncerta|nty and error |n measurement
Even when we try to measure things very accurately, it is never possible to be
absolutely certain that the measurement is perfect.
The errors that occur in measurement can be divided into two types, RANDOM and
SYSTEMATIC. If readings of a measurement are above and below the true value with
equal probability, then the errors are random. Usually random errors are caused
by the person making the measurement; for example, the error due to a person`s
reaction time is a random error.
Systematic errors are due to the system or apparatus being used. Systematic errors
can often be detected by repeating the measurement using a different method
or different apparatus and comparing the results. A zero offset, an instrument
not reading exactly zero at the beginning of the experiment, is an example of a
systematic error. You will learn more about errors as you do your practical work in
Random errors can be reduced by repeating the measurement many times and
taking the average, but this process will not affect systematic errors. When you
write up your practical work you need to discuss the errors that have occurred in
the experiment. For example: 7HATDIFFERENCEDIDFRICTIONANDAIRRESISTANCEMAKE
Another distinction in measuring things is between PRECISION and ACCURACY.
Imagine a game of darts where a person has three attempts to hit the bull`s-eye.
If all three darts hit the double twenty, then it was a precise attempt, but not
accurate. If the three darts are evenly spaced just outside and around the bull`s-eye,
then the throw was accurate, but not precise enough. If the darts all miss the board
entirely then the throw was neither precise nor accurate. Only if all three darts hit
the bull`s-eye can the throws be described as both precise and accurate!
\|.t ccrJ|t|crs .cu|J bo
rocoss..y tc or.b|o scnot||rg tc
bo no.su.oJ .|t| tct.| .ccu..cy`
Figure 1.2 A|| t|o p|.yo.s t.y tc ||t
t|o bu||s oyo .|t| t|o|. t|.oo J..ts, but
cr|y t|o |.st .osu|t |s bct| p.oc|so .rJ
It is the same with measurements; they can be precise, accurate, neither or both. If
there have been a large number of measurements made of a particular quantity, we
can show these four possibilities on graphs like this:
When measuring something, in addition to a unit, it is important to think about
the number of signifcant fgures or digits we are going to use.
For example, when measuring the width and length of a piece of A4 paper with a
30 cm ruler, what sort of results would be sensible:
2! × 30 ! 2 yes
2!.0 × 29.7 0.! 3 maybe
2!.03 × 29.68 0.0! 4 no
With a 30 cm ruler it is not possible to guarantee a measurement of 0.01 cm or
0.1 mm so these numbers are not signifcant.
This is what the above measurements of width would tell us:
MeasuremehIs (cm) Number o!
2! ! 2 2022
2!.0 0.! 3 20.92!.!
2!.03 0.0! 4 2!.022!.04
The number of signifcant fgures in any answer or result should not be more than
that of the least precise value that has been used in the calculation.
true value of
occutote onJ µtec|se
Figure 1.3 |o.o |s .rct|o. ..y c|
|cck|rg .t t|o J||o.orco bot.oor
p.oc|s|cr .rJ .ccu..cy, s|c.|rg t|o
J|st.|but|cr c| . |..go runbo. c|
no.su.onorts c| t|o s.no ,u.rt|ty
..curJ t|o cc..oct v.|uo c| t|o
|| ycu ..o Josc.|b|rg . po.scr
ycu |.vo ¦ust not tc ycu. bost
|.|orJ, .||c| |s nc.o |npc.t.rt
.ccu..cy, p.oc|s|cr c. scno ct|o.
Calculate the area of a piece of A4 paper, dimensions 21 cm × 29.7 cm. Give your
answer to the appropriate number of signifcant fgures.
21 × 29.7 = 623.7
Area = 620 cm
= 6.2 10
Uncerta|nt|es |n ca|cu|ated resu|ts
If we use a stopwatch to measure the time taken for a ball to fall a short distance,
there will inevitably be errors or uncertainties due to reaction time. For example, if
the measured time is 1.0 s, then the uncertainty could reasonably be 0.1 s. Here
the uncertainty, or plus or minus value, is called an ABSOLUTEUNCERTAINTY. Absolute
uncertainties have a magnitude, or size, and a unit as appropriate.
There are two other ways we could show this uncertainty, either as a fraction or as
a percentage. As a fraction, an uncertainty of 0.1 s in 1.0 s would be
and as a
percentage it would be 10%.
These uncertainties increase if the measurements are combined in calculations or
through equations. In an experiment to fnd the acceleration due to gravity, the
errors measuring both time and distance would infuence the fnal result.
If the measurements are to be combined by addition or subtraction, then the
easiest way is to add absolute uncertainties. If the measurements are to be
combined using multiplication, division or by using powers like X
, then the best
method is to add percentage uncertainties. If there is a square root relationship,
then the percentage uncertainty is halved.
Uncerta|nt|es |n graphs
When you hand in your lab reports, you must always show uncertainty values
at the top of your data tables as a sensible value. On your graphs, these are
represented as ERRORBARS. The error bars must be drawn so that their length on
the scale of the graph is the same as the uncertainty in the data table. Error bars
can be on either or both axes, depending on how accurate the measurements are.
The best-ft line must pass through all the error bars. If it does not pass through
a point, then that point is called an outlier and this should be discussed in the
evaluation of the experiment.
£xaminer's hint: ¯|o |o.st p.oc|so
|rput v.|uo, 21 cn, cr|y |.s 2 s|gr||c.rt
£xaminer's hint: boc.uso .o ..o
us|rg sc|ort||c rct.t|cr, t|o.o |s rc
Jcubt t|.t .o ..o g|v|rg t|o ..o. tc 2
8 \|or . vc|t.go 7 c| 122 \ |s .pp||oJ tc . |´ nctc., t|o cu..ort l |r t|o nctc. |s 020 A \||c|
one c| t|o |c||c.|rg |s t|o cutput pc.o. 7* c| t|o nctc. g|vor tc t|o cc..oct .pp.cp.|.to
runbo. c| s|gr||c.rt J|g|ts`
A 2 \ b 24 \ ´ 240 \ | 244 \
3CALARS are measurements that have size, or magnitude. A scalar almost always
needs a unit. 6ECTORS have magnitude and also have a direction. For example, a
Boeing 747 can fy at a speed of 885 kmh
or 246 ms
. This is the speed and is a
scalar quantity. If the plane fies from London to New York at 246 ms
is called its velocity and is a vector, because it tells us the direction. Clearly, fying
from London to New York is not the same as fying from New York to London;
the speed can be the same but the velocity is different. Direction can be crucially
tlme (s) 0.2
Motion oing a bod traveIIing at a tead peed
Figure 1.4 |..c. b..s c.r
bo cr t|o Y.x|s cr|y,
Z.x|s cr|y c. cr bct|
.xos, .s s|c.r |o.o
Vectors and scaIars 1.3
!.3.! Dislinguish belween veclor and scalar quanlilies, and give examples ol
!.3.2 Delermine lhe sum or dillerence ol lwo veclors by a graphical melhod.
!.3.3 Pesolve veclors inlo perpendicular componenls along chosen axes.
Here is another example of the difference between a vector and a scalar. Suppose
you walk three metres to the east and then four metres towards the north.
The distance you have travelled is seven metres but your DISPLACEMENT, the distance
between where you started and where you ended up, is only fve metres. Because
displacement is a vector, we also need to say that the fve metres had been moved
in a certain direction north of east.
Here are some common examples:
All lypes ol energy All lorces
Pressure All leld slrenglhs
A vector is usually represented by a bold italicized symbol, for example &for force.
Free body d|agrams
dlstance walked 7m
dlsplacement 5 m (north of east)
3 m east
Figure 1.5 ||st.rco |s . sc.|.., .rJ
|r t||s c.so, t|o J|st.rco t..vo||oJ |s
3 n + 4 n = n ||sp|.conort |s .
voctc., .rJ |o.o |t |s t|o |ypctoruso c|
t|o t.|.rg|o (5 n)
9 \||c| one c| t|o |c||c.|rg |s . sc.|.. ,u.rt|ty`
A |.ossu.o b |npu|so
´ V.grot|c |o|J st.orgt| | \o|g|t
1 \||c| one c| t|o |c||c.|rg |s . voctc. ,u.rt|ty`
A ||oct.|c pc.o. b ||oct.|c.| .os|st.rco
´ ||oct.|c |o|J | ||oct.|c pctort|.| J||o.orco
welght = llft
thrust of [ets
drag of alr
welght normal force
Figure 1.6 |.oobcJy J|.g..ns s|c.
.|| t|o |c.cos .ct|rg cr t|o bcJy ¯|o
...c.s s|cu|J bo J...r tc .op.osort
bct| t|o s|.o .rJ J|.oct|cr c| t|o |c.cos
.rJ s|cu|J .|..ys bo |.bo||oJ (c) Aeroplane in level fight ACCELERATING to the right:
(a) Book resting on a table: (b) Car travelling at constant VELOCITY to the left:
welght normal forces
drlvlng force reslstlve forces
If two or more forces are acting at the same point in space, you need to be able to
calculate the resultant, or total effective force, of the combination. The resultant is
the single force that has the same effect as the combination.
If they are not parallel, the easiest way to determine the resultant is by the
parallelogram law. This says that the resultant of two vectors acting at a point is
given by the diagonal of the parallelogram they form.
You also need to be able to resolve, or split, vectors into components or parts. A
component of a vector shows the effect in a particular direction. Usually we resolve
vectors into an X-component and a Y-component.
A force of 20 N pulls a box on a bench at an angle of 60º to the horizontal. What is
the magnitude of the force & parallel to the bench:
Figure 1.7 \|or t|o voctc.s ..o
p...||o|, t|o .osu|t.rt |s |curJ by s|np|o
.JJ|t|cr c. subt..ct|cr
2N 3 N
resultant 5N to rlght
2 N 3 N
resultant l N to left
magnltude of resultant l4N
Figure 1.8 \o c.r uso . g..p||c.|
not|cJ tc |rJ t|o .osu|t.rt .ccu..to|y
£xaminer's hint: +cu c.r Jc t||s |s
by sc.|o J...|rg us|rg g..p| p.po.
11 ¯|o J|.g..n bo|c. s|c.s . bc.t t|.t |s .bcut tc c.css . .|vo. |r . J|.oct|cr po.porJ|cu|.. tc t|o
b.rk .t . spooJ c| 08 ns
¯|o cu..ort |c.s .t 06 ns
|r t|o J|.oct|cr s|c.r
¯|o n.gr|tuJo c| t|o J|sp|.conort c| t|o bc.t 5 soccrJs .|to. |o.v|rg t|o b.rk |s
A 3 n b 4 n ´ 5 n | n
Figure 1.9 |osc|v|rg |rtc
ccnpcrorts |s t|o cppcs|to p.ccoss
tc .JJ|rg voctc.s .rJ |rJ|rg t|o
The string will tend to pull the box along the bench but it will also tend to pull it
cosine 60º =
& = 20 N × cos 60º = 10 N
£xaminer's hint: |r t|o .|g|t.rg|oJ
t.|.rg|o Ab´, t|o Yccnpcrort (') |s
.J¦.cort tc t|o 60 .rg|o .|||o t|o 20 |
|c.co |s t|o |ypctoruso
12 A |c.co c| 35 | pu||s . b.|ck cr . |ovo| su.|.co .t .r .rg|o c| 40 tc t|o |c.|.crt.| ¯|o |.|ct|cr.|
|c.co cppcs|rg t|o nct|cr |s 68| \|.t |s t|o .osu|t.rt |c.co ' p...||o| tc t|o borc|`
£xaminer's hint: |o.o |s .r ox.np|o
c| |c. not tc .rs.o. . b.s|c ,uost|cr
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Here are some ideas to help you with the estimates on page 3:
First we could think about how high a normal room is. When you stand up
how far is your head from the ceiling: Most adults are between 1.5 m and 2.0 m
tall, so the height of a room must be above 2.0 m and probably below 2.5 m.
If we multiply by two and add in some more for the foors and the roof then a
sensible value could be 7 or 8 m.
This would change with the brightness of the light, but even if it were really
dark it is unlikely to be above half a centimetre or 5.0 mm. In bright sunshine
maybe it could go down to 1.0 mm so a good estimate would be between these
You can easily measure your pulse in a minute. When you are relaxed it will
most probably be between 60 and 80 beats per minute. To get a value for an
hour we must multiply by 60, and this gives a number between 3600 and 4800.
As an order of magnitude or 'ball park fgure` this would be 10
Apples come in different sizes but if you buy a kilogram how many do you get:
If the number is somewhere between 5 and 15 that would give an average mass
for each apple of around 100g which translates to a weight of approximately 1
To estimate this you need to know the approximate density of air, which is
1.3 kg m
. Then you need an estimate of the volume of your bedroom, for
example 4 m × 3 m × 2.5 m, which would give 30 m
Then mass = density × volume would give around 40 kg; maybe more than
For this we would use the equation pressure =
. The force would be
your weight; if your mass is 60 kg then your weight would be 600 N. If we take
average values for the length and width of your foot as 30 cm and 10 cm, change
them to 0.3 m and 0.1 m, and multiply, then the area is 0.03 m
. Dividing 600 N
by 0.03 m
gives an answer of 20 000 Pa.
You need to practise these kinds of estimations without a calculator.
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