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Just as precise measurements are necessary in science, it is equally important to be able to make rough estimates of quantities using rudimentary ideas and common observations. Think of ways by which you can estimate the following (where an estimate is difficult to obtain, try to get an upper bound on the quantity):
A student measures the thickness of a human hair by looking at it through a microscope of magnification 100. He makes 20 observations and finds that the average width of the hair in the field of view of the microscope is 3.5 mm. What is the estimate on the thickness of hair?
The unit of length convenient on the nuclear scale is a fermi : 1 f = 10– 15 m. Nuclear sizes obey roughly the following empirical relation : `r = r_0A^(1/3)` where r is the radius of the nucleus, A its mass number, and r0 is a constant equal to about, 1.2 f. Show that the rule implies that nuclear mass density is nearly constant for different nuclei. Estimate the mass density of sodium nucleus. Compare it with the average mass density of a sodium atom obtained in Exercise 2.27