PHYS 3344

Fermi problems

  1. Estimate the total mass of the Earth's atmosphere.

  2. Estimate the total volume of air that a person inhales into their lungs during their lifetime.

  3. Estimate the total number of pages a college student turns while doing course related work during their undergraduate career.

  4. Estimate the total gravitational potential energy (relative to their position when resting on the ground) of all the world's commercial airplanes (and jets) during a weekday before sundown, Central Standard Time.

  5. Estimate the total amount of solar energy that falls on Texas during August.

  6. Estimate the mass of all the clouds in the Texas sky during a spring day.

  7. What is the total surface area of all the leaves on a typical maple tree?

  8. What is the total mass of the air in the new Dedman Biology building?

  9. Estimate the mean total kinetic energy of all the Earth's inhabitants due to walking or running averaged over a 24-hr period.

  10. Compare the total energy per year consumed by driving gasoline powered cars in the US with the Earth's rotational kinetic energy.

  11. How many grains of salt are contained in a typical 1 lb container of salt found at the grocery store?

  12. What is the total volume of ink contained in all the pens currently owned by SMU students?

  13. Estimate the total number of words spoken by a professor during a typical 50 minute lecture.

  14. What is the total volume of water drunk by an American in her lifetime?

  15. What is the volume of the average adult human body?

  16. What is the total number of atoms in your body?

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