Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 1 - Introduction, Measurement, Estimating - General Problems: 51


The diameter of the oil slick is 3000 meters.

Work Step by Step

Let $y$ be the thickness of the oil slick, which is equal to the diameter of an oil molecule. Assume that the oil slick forms a circle. Then the area $A$ of the oil slick is $\pi r^2$, where $r$ is the radius of the oil slick. $A\cdot y = volume$ $\pi r^2 \cdot y = V$ $r = \sqrt{\frac{V}{\pi \cdot y}}$ $r = \sqrt{\frac{(1000 ~cm^3)(10^{-6} ~m^3/cm^3)}{\pi \cdot(2\times 10^{-10} ~m)}}$ $r = 1260 ~m$ The diameter is $2r$, so the diameter of the oil slick is 2520 meters. Rounding off 2520 to one significant figure, the diameter is 3000 meters.
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