# Questions tagged [order-of-magnitude]

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### What is a realistic launch speed of a grappling hook gun? [closed]

In The Dark Knight, at the end of the movie Batman throws the Joker off of a building and then shoots his grapple hook gun to catch him. Is 68m/s a reasonable speed for a grapple gun to shoot?
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### About how fast can a small fish swim before experiencing turbulent flow around its body? [closed]

About how fast can a small fish swim before experiencing turbulent flow around its body? An Engineering Problem! Please go through this question step by step. :D
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### Why is Planck mass much larger than the smallest mass that we actually know about? [duplicate]

The three fundamental constants $h$, $c$ and $G$ are manipulated and rearranged in different ways to get the Planck time, Planck mass etc. The Planck time is said to be the smallest time possible and ...
277 views

### Dimensionless numbers or parameters that are $\ll 1$ or $\gg 1$

Many times, in various fields, authors use the notation: $$C\ll 1$$ or $$C\gg 1,$$ where $C$ is some parameter related to the system being studied. I know this is highly dependent on application, ...
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### Is there scale by size of all discovered particles?

Atom: Neutron: Elementary particles: Is there scale by size of all discovered particles? From neutron and proton to electron and to boson? Compare to each other, like this I have found many ...
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### Is it possible to reach lower temperatures than the Boyle temperature in de van der Waals equation?

We know that for a real gas we can write a virial expansion in powers of $p$: $$pV=Nk_{B}T+B(T)p+\cdots$$ It results that the van der Waals equation: \left[p+a\left(\frac{N}{V}\right)^{2}\right]\...
538 views

### Dimensional analysis to estimate order of magnitude of quantities

In the Coursera course From the Big Bang to Dark Energy on several occasions dimensional analysis was used to estimate the scale of quantities. This almost seems like a contradiction in terms to me, ...
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### Newton's Third Law Of Motion: Earth Falling to an Apple?

I 'get' Newton's third law of motion, except for one thing. We know that if we let an apple fall to the Earth, the earth will fall to the apple, because the Earth must experience the same force in the ...
178 views

### For how long must a molecule remain stable to be considered “stable”?

In the Star Trek: Voyager episode The Omega Directive, Seven of Nine says that the Borg synthesized a molecule which was "kept [] stable for one trillionth of a nanosecond before it destabilized". ...
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### Can the solar system really fit in a thimble?

Almost every time somebody talks about atoms, at some point they mention something like this: If we remove the spaces between the atoms and atomic components, we can fit the solar system in a ...
451 views

### Why do some liquid metals have anomalously-high surface tension/heat of vaporization ratios?

In a didactic article, Victor Weisskopf estimated the size of molecules in a liquid from measurements of their surface tension and heat of vaporization. If atoms are exceedingly small, then only a ...
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### Explanation of energy levels in molecules, atoms, nuclei and their relationship

Why are the energy levels of molecules, the atoms that form them and the nuclei inside the atoms considered separately? Or phrased in a different way- what is it that makes their energy levels so ...
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### Forces: Worth worrying anything?

I am a general physics student, I had a question in my text-book and according to it two students having gravitational attraction between them = ($6.67\cdot10^-8\ \mathrm{Nm}^2/\mathrm{kg}^2$) is not ...
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### Data requirement to determine proportionality

A common result of theoretical analysis in physics is some sort of relation derived from physical parameters and typically expressed in the form of a non-dimensional parameter. These scale relations ...
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### Why don't the relative positions of stars and other objects in a galaxy change over the year?

Though the identifiable stars in a constellation (say Andromeda) and a galaxy (say the Andromeda galaxy) are situated light years apart, why doesn't the galaxy appear at different positions with ...
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### Planck mass is about the mass of one eyebrow hair

Unlike most Planck units named after "Planck" such as Planck length, Planck temperature, etc, the Planck mass seems more closed to daily life. It is about $10^{-5}$g, same order of magnitude of one ...
886 views

### Heuristics for specific heat capacities of solids

A didactic question publish in The Physics Teacher (http://tpt.aapt.org/resource/1/phteah/v41/i1/p8_s1) asks which will melt more ice: 100g of metal at 100C or 100g of wood at 100C. (The particular ...
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### How much water is destroyed in photosynthesis, relative to the world's supply?

Water is involved in the photosynthesis. How much water are we talking about compared with the total amount on water on Earth? Is it enough to have an effect on the average age of water molecules?
176 views

### Energy behind door knocking?

How do we estimate the energy released from knocking on a wooden table or a door?
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### How did Enrico Fermi calculate the classical Fermi Problem?

From Wikipedia: Fermi was known for his ability to make good approximate calculations with little or no actual data, hence the name. One example is his estimate of the strength of the atomic bomb ...
307 views

### Modeling galactic colonization

I found a really cool sounding order-of-magnitude modeling question but am a bit at a loss on how to approach this: The Milky Way contains 100 billion stars and has a radius of 250,000 light years. ...
3k views

### Why do mirages only appear on hot days?

A previous question asked why the road sometimes appears wet on hot days. The reason is that when there's a temperature gradient in the air, it causes a gradient in the index of refraction, causing ...
259 views

### Confront Order Of magnitudes

Is it correct to say that 9.0 is one order of magnitude smaller than 10.0? Has anyone a link/source about confronting order of magnitudes, apart from wikipedia?
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### How does the temperature of the triple point of water depend on gravitational acceleration?

Suppose I do two experiments to find the triple point of water, one in zero-g and one on Earth. On Earth, water in the liquid or solid phase has less gravitational potential per unit mass than water ...