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Quantitative Skills

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Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Rate of Lava Flow part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question In 1983, an eruption began at Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii that has proved to be the largest and longest-lived eruption since records began in 1823. Lava has poured out of the volcano at an average rate of ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Collision with Asteroid part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question We have located an asteroid heading directly for the Earth. It is now 1.6 million km away from the Earth, about 4 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. The asteroid is travelling at 25 km/second. ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Percentage of Copper in Ore part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Suppose that you are building a new house. It will take about 90 kg (198 pounds) of copper to do the electrical wiring. In order to get the copper in the first place, someone needs to mine solid rock that ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Spacecraft Acceleration part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Suppose someone offered you a ride to the nearest star in a new spacecraft that could travel at half the speed of light, or about 150,000 km/second. In order to reach such a cruising speed, you and the ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Velocity of Asteroids part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Asteroids zip through space at truly astounding velocities. Let's try to put that into perspective. It took the Apollo astronauts about 3 days to travel from the Earth to the Moon. a) If you could ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: The Distance Radio Waves Have Traveled part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question We have been broadcasting radio waves in all directions since the development of radio and television stations. How far could you be from the Earth and detect the faint signals of an early Star Trek ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Comparing Jupiter with Earth part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Below, you'll see a drawing of Jupiter showing the Great Red Spot, as well as several of the dark scars, like enormous black eyes, left as a result of the impact of fragments of the comet ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Surface Area of the Moon vs. Earth part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question If you could wrap the Moon in a gigantic cloth and then unwrap the cloth and spread it out on the Earth, how much of the Earth's surface would it cover?

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Volume of the Earth and Sun part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Suppose you and your friends wanted to make a scale model of the Earth and the Sun. You start by cutting a one-inch cube of Play-Doh to represent the volume of the Earth. - How many one-inch Play-Doh cubes ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Height of the Himalayas part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College



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