AP1200_Ch2_OrderOfMagnitudeUncertainty-2008

# AP1200_Ch2_OrderOfMagnitudeUncertainty-2008 - AP1200 2...

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1 AP1200 AP1200 2. Order of Magnitude and Uncertainty 2. Order of Magnitude and Uncertainty Concepts Concepts Michel A. Van Hove Michel A. Van Hove WARNING: PRINTING THIS DOCUMENT WILL USE MUCH INK AND WILL NOT SHOW ANIMATIONS.

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2 Orders of magnitude – distances Orders of magnitude – distances Watch as we approach Earth in steps At each step: we reduce the viewing distance by a factor 10 we magnify the view 10-fold we see 10x smaller objects the scale of interest changes by a factor 10, i.e. by “an order of magnitude” “an order of magnitude” = a factor 10 Link is: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/ Secret Worlds: The Universe Within 8
3 9 orders of magnitude from  9 orders of magnitude from  meter meter  (m) to   (m) to  nanometer nanometer  (nm)  (nm) 10 10  m = 1mm  m = 1mm 10 10  m  m 10 10  m  m 1 m 1 m man man leaf leaf fly fly fly’s eye fly’s eye hair hair microelectromechanical microelectromechanical system system bacterium bacterium submicron submicron junction junction DNA DNA benzene benzene molecule molecule 9

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Order of magnitude = rough estimation Order of magnitude = rough estimation An estimate is our best guess without precise information the closest number that we can guess Why estimate roughly? to get a quick answer (in head or on paper) example: how long would it take to walk from Hong Kong to Shanghai? example: can global warming flood Shanghai? What precision is needed? only one order of magnitude = factor 10! the uncertainty can be very large: that is OK! main reason for uncertainty: the information is not known precisely example: distance Hong Kong – Shanghai? walking speed? example:
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## This note was uploaded on 04/16/2011 for the course AP 1200 taught by Professor Michela.vanhove during the Spring '10 term at City University of Hong Kong.

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AP1200_Ch2_OrderOfMagnitudeUncertainty-2008 - AP1200 2...

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