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  • How many hydrogen atoms does it take to stretch across the diameter of the Sun?
    (Answer: 10 9 m/10 –10 m = 10 19 hydrogen atoms)
  • How many protons are there in a bacterium?
    (Answer: 10 –15 kg/10 –27 kg = 10 12 protons)
  • How many floating-point operations can a supercomputer do in 1 day?
    (Answer: 10 5 s/10 –17 s = 10 22 floating-point operations)

In studying [link] , take some time to come up with similar questions that interest you and then try answering them. Doing this can breathe some life into almost any table of numbers.

This table of orders of magnitude of length, mass and time has three columns and thirteen rows. The first row is a header row and it labels each column, “length in meters (m),” “Masses in kilograms (kg),” and “time in seconds (s).” Under the “length in meters” column are the following entries: 10 to the minus 15 meters equals diameter of proton; 10 to the minus 14 meters equals diameter of large nucleus; 10 to the minus 10 meters equals diameter of hydrogen atom; 10 to the minus 7 meters equals diameter of typical virus; 10 to the minus 2 meters equals pinky fingernail width; 10 to the 0 meters equals height of 4 year old child, and a drawing of a child measuring himself against a meter stick is included; 10 to the 2 meters equals length of football field; 10 to the 7 meters equals diameter of earth; 10 to the 13 meters equals diameter of solar system; 10 to the 16 meters equals distance light travels in a year (one light year); 10 to the 21 meters equals milky way diameter; 10 to the 26 meters equals distance to edge of observable universe. Under the “Masses in kilograms” column are the following entries: 10 to the -30 kilograms equals mass of electron; 10 to the -27 kilograms equals mass of proton; 10 to the -15 kilograms equals mass of bacterium; 10 to the -5 kilograms equals mass of mosquito; 10 to the -2 kilograms equals mass of hummingbird; 10 to the 0 kilograms equals mass of liter of water, and a drawing of a balance scale with a liter on one side and a 1 kilogram mass on the other is shown; 10 to the 2 kilograms equals mass of person; 10 to the 19 kilograms equals mass of atmosphere; 10 to the 22 kilograms equals mass of moon; 10 to the 25 kilograms equals mass of earth; 10 to the 30 kilograms equals mass of sun; 10 to the 53 kilograms equals upper limit on mass of known universe. Under the “Time in seconds” column are the following entries: 10 to the -22 seconds equals mean lifetime of very unstable nucleus; 10 to the -17 seconds equals time for a single floating point operation in a supercomputer; 10 to the -15 seconds equals time for one oscillation of visible light; 10 to the -13 seconds equals time for one vibration of an atom in a solid; 10 to the -3 seconds equals duration of a nerve impulse; 10 to the 0 equals time for one heartbeat, and a drawing of the heart with a plot of three pulses is shown. The peak of the first pulse is labeled P. The next pulse is larger amplitude and shorter duration. The start of the second pulse is labeled Q, its peak is labeled R, and its end is labeled S. The peak of the third pulse is labeled T. The entries in the column continue as follows: 10 to the 5 seconds equals one day; 10 to the 7 seconds equals one year; 10 to the 9 seconds equals human lifetime; 10 to the 11 seconds equals recorded human history; 10 to the 17 seconds equals age of earth; 10 to the 18 seconds equals age of universe;
This table shows the orders of magnitude of length, mass, and time.

Visit this site to explore interactively the vast range of length scales in our universe. Scroll down and up the scale to view hundreds of organisms and objects, and click on the individual objects to learn more about each one.

Building models

How did we come to know the laws governing natural phenomena? What we refer to as the laws of nature are concise descriptions of the universe around us. They are human statements of the underlying laws or rules that all natural processes follow. Such laws are intrinsic to the universe; humans did not create them and cannot change them. We can only discover and understand them. Their discovery is a very human endeavor, with all the elements of mystery, imagination, struggle, triumph, and disappointment inherent in any creative effort ( [link] ). The cornerstone of discovering natural laws is observation; scientists must describe the universe as it is, not as we imagine it to be.

Photos of Enrico Fermi and Marie Curie
(a) Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) was born in Italy. On accepting the Nobel Prize in Stockholm in 1938 for his work on artificial radioactivity produced by neutrons, he took his family to America rather than return home to the government in power at the time. He became an American citizen and was a leading participant in the Manhattan Project. (b) Marie Curie (1867–1934) sacrificed monetary assets to help finance her early research and damaged her physical well-being with radiation exposure. She is the only person to win Nobel prizes in both physics and chemistry. One of her daughters also won a Nobel Prize. (credit a: United States Department of Energy)

A model    is a representation of something that is often too difficult (or impossible) to display directly. Although a model is justified by experimental tests, it is only accurate in describing certain aspects of a physical system. An example is the Bohr model of single-electron atoms, in which the electron is pictured as orbiting the nucleus, analogous to the way planets orbit the Sun ( [link] ). We cannot observe electron orbits directly, but the mental image helps explain some of the observations we can make, such as the emission of light from hot gases (atomic spectra). However, other observations show that the picture in the Bohr model is not really what atoms look like. The model is “wrong,” but is still useful for some purposes. Physicists use models for a variety of purposes. For example, models can help physicists analyze a scenario and perform a calculation or models can be used to represent a situation in the form of a computer simulation. Ultimately, however, the results of these calculations and simulations need to be double-checked by other means—namely, observation and experimentation.

Questions & Answers

A body receives impulses of 24Ns and 35Ns inclined 55 degree to each other. calculate the total impulse
Sukpen Reply
A body receives impulses of 24Ns and 35Ns inclined 55 degree to each other. calculate the total impulse
Previous
twenty four square plus thirty-five square minus to multiple thirty five twenty four and equal answer number square Via this equation defined Total Total impulse
Cemal
why simple pendulum do not vibrate indefinitely?
Zirmal
what is matar
Abdulrahman Reply
The uniform boom shown below weighs 500 N, and the object hanging from its right end weighs 400 N. The boom is supported by a light cable and by a hinge at the wall. Calculate the tension in the cable and the force on the hinge on the boom. Does the force on the hinge act along the boom?
Jave Reply
A 11.0-m boom, AB , of a crane lifting a 3000-kg load is shown below. The center of mass of the boom is at its geometric center, and the mass of the boom is 800 kg. For the position shown, calculate tension T in the cable and the force at the axle A .
Jave
what is the S.I unit of coefficient of viscosity
Biam Reply
Derived the formula of Newton's law of universal gravitation Fg=G(M1M2)/R2
Monychol Reply
hi
Asdesaw
yes
Cemal
a non-uniform boom of a crane 15m long, weighs 2800nts, with its center of gravity at 40% of its lenght from the hingr support. the boom is attached to a hinge at the lower end. rhe boom, which mAKES A 60% ANGLE WITH THE HORIZONTAL IS SUPPORTED BY A HORIZONTAL GUY WIRE AT ITS UPPER END. IF A LOAD OF 5000Nts is hung at the upper end of the boom, find the tension in the guywire and the components of the reaction at the hinge.
dangly Reply
what is the centripetal force
Malok Reply
Of?
John
centripetal force of attraction that pulls a body that is traversing round the orbit of a circle toward the center of the circle. Fc = MV²/r
Sampson
centripetal force is the force of attraction that pulls a body that is traversing round the orbit of a circle toward the center of the circle. Fc = MV²/r
Sampson
I do believe the formula for centripetal force is F=MA or F=m(v^2/r)
John
I mean the formula is Fc= Mass multiplied by square of velocity all over the Radius of the circle
Sampson
Yes
John
The force is equal to the mass times the velocity squared divided by the radius
John
That's the current chapter I'm on in my engineering physics class
John
Centripetal force is a force of attraction which keeps an object round the orbit towards the center of a circle. Mathematically Fc=mv²/r
Adebileje
In Example, we calculated the final speed of a roller coaster that descended 20 m in height and had an initial speed of 5 m/s downhill. Suppose the roller coaster had had an initial speed of 5 m/s uphill instead, and it coasted uphill, stopped, and then rolled back down to a final point 20 m bel
tan Reply
A steel lift column in a service station is 4 meter long and .2 meter in diameter. Young's modulus for steel is 20 X 1010N/m2.  By how much does the column shrink when a 5000- kg truck is on it?
Andiswa Reply
hi
Abdulrahman
mola mass
Abdulrahman
hi
Asdesaw
what exactly is a transverse wave
Dharmee Reply
does newton's first law mean that we don't need gravity to be attracted
Dharmee Reply
no, it just means that a brick isn't gonna move unless something makes it move. if in the air, moves down because of gravity. if on floor, doesn't move unless something has it move, like a hand pushing the brick. first law is that an object will stay at rest or motion unless another force acts upon
Grant
yeah but once gravity has already been exerted .. i am saying that it need not be constantly exerted now according to newtons first law
Dharmee
gravity is constantly being exerted. gravity is the force of attractiveness between two objects. you and another person exert a force on each other but the reason you two don't come together is because earth's effect on both of you is much greater
Grant
maybe the reason we dont come together is our inertia only and not gravity
Dharmee
this is the definition of inertia: a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.
Grant
the earth has a much higher affect on us force wise that me and you together on each other, that's why we don't attract, relatively speaking of course
Grant
quite clear explanation but i just want my mind to be open to any theory at all .. its possible that maybe gravity does not exist at all or even the opposite can be true .. i dont want a fixed state of mind thats all
Dharmee
why wouldn't gravity exist? gravity is just the attractive force between two objects, at least to my understanding.
Grant
earth moves in a circular motion so yes it does need a constant force for a circular motion but incase of objects on earth i feel maybe there is no force of attraction towards the centre and its our inertia forcing us to stay at a point as once gravity had acted on the object
Dharmee
why should it exist .. i mean its all an assumption and the evidences are empirical
Dharmee
We have equations to prove it and lies of evidence to support. we orbit because we have a velocity and the sun is pulling us. Gravity is a law, we know it exists.
Grant
yeah sure there are equations but they are based on observations and assumptions
Dharmee
g is obtained by a simple pendulum experiment ...
Dharmee
gravity is tested by dropping a rock...
Grant
and also there were so many newtonian laws proved wrong by einstein . jus saying that its a law doesnt mean it cant be wrong
Dharmee
pendulum is good for showing energy transfer, here is an article on the detection of gravitational waves: ***ligo.org/detections.php
Grant
yeah but g is calculated by pendulum oscillations ..
Dharmee
thats what .. einstein s fabric model explains that force of attraction by sun on earth but i am talking about force of attraction by earth on objects on earth
Dharmee
no... this is how gravity is calculated:F = G*((m sub 1*m sub 2)/r^2)
Grant
gravitational constant is obtained EXPERIMENTALLY
Dharmee
the G part
Dharmee
Calculate the time of one oscillation or the period (T) by dividing the total time by the number of oscillations you counted. Use your calculated (T) along with the exact length of the pendulum (L) in the above formula to find "g." This is your measured value for "g."
Dharmee
G is the universal gravitational constant. F is the gravity
Grant
search up the gravity equation
Grant
yeahh G is obtained experimentally
Dharmee
sure yes
Grant
thats what .. after all its EXPERIMENTALLY calculated so its empirical
Dharmee
yes... so where do we disagree?
Grant
its empirical whixh means it can be proved wrong
Dharmee
so cant just say why wouldnt gravity exists
Dharmee
the constant, sure but extremely unlikely it is wrong. gravity however exists, there are equations and loads of support surrounding the concept. unfortunately I don't have a high enough background in physics but have this discussion with a physicist
Grant
can u suggest a platform where i can?
Dharmee
stack overflow
Grant
stack exchange, physics section***
Grant
its an app?
Dharmee
there is! it is also a website as well
Grant
okayy
Dharmee
nice talking to you
Dharmee
***physics.stackexchange.com/
Grant
likewise :)
Grant
Gravity surely exist
muhammed
hi guys
Diwash
hi
muhammed
what is mathematics
Fadumo
What is the percentage by massof oxygen in Al2(so4)3
Isiguzo Reply
molecular mass of Al2(SO4)3 = (27×2)+3{(32×1)+(16×4)} =54+3(32+64) =54+3×96 =54+288 =342 g/mol molecular mass of Oxygen=12×16 =192 g/mol % of Oxygen= (molecular mass of Oxygen/ molecular mass of the compound)×100% =(192/342)×100% =19200/342% =56.14%
Adebileje
A spring with 50g mass suspended from it,has its length extended by 7.8cm 1.1 determine the spring constant? 1.2 it is observed that the length of the spring decreases by 4.7cm,from its original length, when a toy is place on top of it. what is the mass of the toy?
Silindelo Reply
solution mass = 50g= 0.05kg force= 50 x 10= 500N extension= 7.8cm = 0.078m using the formula Force= Ke K = force/extension 500/.078 = 6410.25N/m
Sampson
1.2 Decrease in length= -4.7cm =-0.047m mass=? acceleration due to gravity= 10 force = K x e force= mass x acceleration m x a = K x e mass = K x e/acceleration = 6410.25 x 0.047/10 = 30.13kg
Sampson
1.1 6.28Nm-¹
Anita
1.2 0.03kg or 30g
Anita
I used g=9.8ms-²
Anita
you should explain how yoy got the answer Anita
Grant
ok
Anita
with the fomular F=mg I got the value for force because now the force acting on the spring is the weight of the object and also you have to convert from grams to kilograms and cm to meter
Anita
so the spring constant K=F/e where F is force and e is extension
Anita
mass=50g=50/1000 kg m=0.05kg extension=7.8 cm=7.8/100 e=0.078 m g=9.8 m/s² 1.1 F=ke k=F/e k=mg/e k=0.05×9.8/0.078 k=0.49/0.078 k=6.28 N/m 1.2 F=6.28e mg=6.28e m=6.28e/g e=4.7 cm =4.7/100 e=0.047 m=6.28×0.047/9.8 m=0.29516/9.8 m=0.0301 kg
Adebileje
In this first example why didn't we use P=P° + ¶hg where ¶ is density
Anita Reply
Density = force applied x area p=fA =p = mga, then a=h therefore substitute =p =mgh
Hlehle
Please correct me
Hlehle
sorry I had a little typo in my question
Anita
Density = m/v (mass/volume) simple as that
Augustine
Hlehle vilakazi how density is equal to force * area and you also wrote p= mgh which is machenical potential energy ? how ?
Manorama
what is wave
Alfred Reply
who can state the third equation of motion
Alfred
wave is a distrubance that travelled in medium from one point to another with carry energy .
Manorama
wave is a periodic disturbance that carries energy from one medium to another..
Augustine
what exactly is a transverse wave then?
Dharmee
Practice Key Terms 5

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 1. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12031/1.5
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