Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Measuring a dorm room

Taylor has left her physics homework until well past midnight and she discovers she is being asked to estimate the volume of her dorm room. She lives in a single and the person down the hall borrowed her ruler. It's too late to bother them now so she just uses crude approximations for the numbers. Suppose, however, she wanted to get a more accurate measurement. She doesn't have a measuring tape or ruler. She does have all the items normally present in a typical dorm room — except a ruler. Describe another method she could use to make this measurement. How accurate could she expect the result of this calculation of the volume to be? Be quantitative.

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Page last modified February 29, 2008: G33