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burhan101 Group Title

Fermi Problem: How many paper clips in a jar with the following ? The Jar: 6.5 litre capacity Length and width of 1 paper clip: 2 x 0.5 inches

  • one year ago
  • one year ago

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  1. radar Group Title
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    Since there is no dimension given for the paper clip thickness, there could be a whole lot, an infinite amount.

    • one year ago
  2. CliffSedge Group Title
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    ^ has a point there.

    • one year ago
  3. radar Group Title
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    convert the 6.5 liter to cubic centimeters. convert the dimensions of the paper clips (when you have all 3) length, width, and depth) to centimeters. Convert to cubic centimeters and divide into the cubic centimeters of the jar. That would be one method, but in this case, I would borrow a whole bunch of paper clips and fill the jar, then count them.

    • one year ago
  4. radar Group Title
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    I don't know how to calculate the space used up by a paperclip. Maybe find its displacement in water...????

    • one year ago
  5. CliffSedge Group Title
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    I know the Fermi Problem method is to make an 'order of magnitude estimate.' 6500cc's by (I'd estimate 1.25cc's per paper clip) I'd get around 5000, but given the margins of error (which are large), I'd put the orders of magnitude between 1,000 and 10,000

    • one year ago
  6. CliffSedge Group Title
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    @radar, I don't think the exact volume of the paperclip would help since their negative space contributes as well (stacking problem). There is also the issue of unperfect (random) stacking from the assumed 'just-pour-a-bunch-of-paperclips-in-there' method of filling the container.

    • one year ago
  7. radar Group Title
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    Oh, I was completely off base, as I wasn't even considering Fermi, is this the same Fermi that did work in quantum mechanics and in semiconductors?

    • one year ago
  8. CliffSedge Group Title
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    ^ Yeah, Richard Feynman talked about him a lot and spoke of this method.

    • one year ago
  9. radar Group Title
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    Yes I agree, the geography of a paper clip would preclude an orderly calculation.

    • one year ago
  10. CliffSedge Group Title
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    I think he used 'back-of-the-envelope estimate' as a descriptor as well.

    • one year ago
  11. radar Group Title
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    Thanks, I learn a lot from this Open Study.

    • one year ago
  12. CliffSedge Group Title
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    Me too!

    • one year ago
  13. radar Group Title
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    Nice chatting with you CliffSedge.

    • one year ago
  14. CliffSedge Group Title
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    Same, Mr. radar. What do you think, @burhan101 ?

    • one year ago
  15. burhan101 Group Title
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    this is a really complex question, i have like a white board with stuff on it haha :$ still in the process of finding a reasonable way to approach this

    • one year ago
  16. CliffSedge Group Title
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    The reasonable approach is to guess and not be too outlandish about it.

    • one year ago
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