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Metric Estimation

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Question 1 0:38
  • Question 2 0:51
  • Question 3 1:09
  • Question 4 1:24
  • Question 5 1:49
  • Question 6 2:11
  • Question 7 2:27
  • Question 8 2:49
  • Question 9 3:03
  • Question 10 3:23

Transcription: Metric Estimation

Hi everyone. I am Dan Fullerton. Welcome back to

What we are going to do now is we are going to work through a series of worksheets that are fairly basic level problems, not quite at the level of the AP Physics exam that we are preparing you for, but it gives you an idea if you have the basic concepts down.0004

If these go well, it is great to keep moving on, but if you struggle with these, it is probably an excellent opportunity to go back to some of the previous videos and review them and make sure you get the basic concepts down.0018

We will just do the first page of each of these sheets.0029

Starting with metric estimation -- and you can find a link to download it at the bottom of the page -- we will look at Number 1.0032

What is the approximate width of a person's little finger?0040

A little finger is about 1 cm wide, which could be 0.01 m.0042

Number 2 -- The approximate mass of an automobile...?0051

A hundred kilograms is about the mass of a pretty big person -- 106 kg is humongous, so let us go with 103 kg, or about a 1000 kg or on the order of 2,000 lbs.0055

The diameter of a United States penny...?0069

Draw a penny, measure its diameter, and you should find out that again, you are starting to talk in the range of about 1 cm, which is 10-2 m.0074

Number 4 -- We are going to drop an egg from a third-story window and the distance the egg falls from the window to the ground is closest to...?0085

If we assume that each story is about 3 m or 3 yards in the English system -- they are pretty close to each other -- that is going to be 9 m or 10 m for 3 stories, so 101 m, which is pretty close.0094

The approximate height of a 12 oz. can of root beer...?0110

A root beer is about that tall and compared to a meter, it is about 1/10 of a meter or somewhere in that ballpark, so I would say that it is about 0.13 m or Answer 2.0113

Number 6 -- The mass of a paper clip...?0131

The mass of a paper clip is going to be about 1 gram, which is 1/1,000 of a kg, so the correct answer there is 1 × 10-3, which puts you in the right sort of ballpark.0134

Number 7 -- The length of a dollar bill, the length of paper currency...?0148

It is something like that -- about how much is that -- about 1/10 or maybe a little bit more of a meter, so of our answer choices, this one is the closest -- about 0.15 m.0152

Number 8 -- What is the approximate length of a baseball bat?0169

A baseball bat is about a meter long, so that is going to be 100, which is 1 m or Answer 2.0173

What is the approximate diameter of an inflated basketball?0183

Well, it is going to be less than a meter and maybe 20% of a meter or 0.2 m, so that will give us Number 2, 0.2 m is about the diameter of an inflated basketball.0187

Number 10 -- The length of a football field...?0203

The length of a football field or soccer field, I think is about 100 m, but which of these is closest to that?0206

The top one here is 10 m, 1,000 cm, and 1,000 decimeter -- that is 100 m, so that must be our correct answer, Number 2.0213

That covers page 1 of metric estimation.0227

Thanks so much for your time and make it a great day everyone!0230