This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.
9/17/2011
1
Fermi Problems
an introduction to approximation
and thinking like an Engineer
Dr. Tom Chmielewski
September 2011
9/17/2011
The Fermi Problem
1
Fermi Problem
•
Named after physicist Enrico Fermi
•
Involve making reasonable and justified
guesses about quantities that seem impossible
to compute based on the information available
•
Solution teaches dimensional analysis,
approximation, and the importance of clearly
defining any assumptions.
9/17/2011
The Fermi Problem
2
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.
View Full Document 9/17/2011
2
Classical Example
“
How many
piano tuners
are there in
Chicago
?“
Reference Wikipedia – source of all knowledge
some of which is incorrect. All numbers and
assumptions follow this entry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_problem
9/17/2011
The Fermi Problem
3
What do we want to compute
and what do we need
1.
Number of pianos that are tuned each year
–
Population of Chicago
–
Number of Households
–
How many households have pianos that are tuned yearly
2.
Number of pianos that can be tuned by each tuner in a
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
to
access the rest of the document.
This note was uploaded on 10/07/2011 for the course ENGR 201 taught by Professor Miller during the Fall '08 term at Drexel.
 Fall '08
 Miller

Click to edit the document details