Upcoming Events

Guesstimation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin

March 7, 2014 11:00AM to 12:00PM
Presenter 
Larry Weinstein, Old Dominion University
Location 
Building 203
Type 
Colloquium
Series 
Physics Division Colloquium
Abstract:
Physicists should be able to estimate anything, starting from the laws of physics and a few simple numbers. This talk will present the general rules of estimation, the Goldilocks categories of estimates, and many examples, including the relative power density of gerbils and the sun, the reasons we drive gasoline rather than electric cars, how Fermi estimated the magnitude of the Trinity atomic explosion, the dangers of traveling to the center of the galaxy, and the answer to the most commonly asked environmental question of our time, "Paper or plastic?"