By Cynthia Kirkeby
May 29, 2004, 10:36

Topic: Chemistry

ClassBrain Visitor:

i am doing a project for chemistry and i have to find out how many
BB's would cover the state of New Jersey and to what depth.

ClassBrain Response:                               

This problem is not as hard as it looks... Although it's a little daunting
in its scope, when you first look at it.

According to the
Census Bureau, New Jersey is 7,417 square miles.
(bottom of the page)

Next go to
this site and input 7417 into the "Convert What?" box to convert the square miles into something more useful. I would convert them to square centimeters. My reasoning behind that choice is that a BB should be approximately 1/2 centimeter (cubed).

Once you convert it to square centimeters, multiply that number by four (the
number of BB that will fit in a square centimeter - 1/2 centimeter object
fits into a square centimeter twice in each direction = 4 BBs).

That will give you the final answer. The only added fact would be the
depth, which we are assuming to be the depth of one BB or 1/2 centimeter.

See - not as bad as it looked! :)

Have fun in class...
Cynthia Kirkeby

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*NOTE*One of our visitors wrote to us with this bit of helpful information . . . "In response to the problem in . . . your approach is fine if the BBs are packed as cubes, but if they are packed in their minimum wasted space configuration it is inadequate. The following link does that math."
- Jay
(Thanks Jay!)

Learn more about conversions with the help of Google

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