Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe

As of the writing of this problem in April, 2008, the nation of Zimbabwe is undergoing a possibly transitional election. Long-time president Robert Mugabe may be forced out of power. One of the situations driving the transition is hyperinflation. The Washington Post reports that "inflation in Zimbabwe is running at a rate of 100,000% per year." On the face of it, this seems ridiculously impossible. Let's see if it is by analyzing what it means.

In the picture below is shown an image of a currency note for 1010 Dinars from Yugoslavia during its period of hyperinflation showing physicist/engineer Nikolai Tesla. (For more such images, go to Physicists on the Money.)

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Page last modified April 3, 2008: G34