Estimating

Being able to do a quick back of the envelope calculation allows you to get an idea of what sort of answer you should be aiming for in a problem. Physics is all about the real world so we are always aiming for answers that make sense.
We looked at the prefixes we use for big and small numbers:

IMG_1371.PNG

And done examples of how to use them:
http://m.wikihow.com/Convert-Units-With-Prefixes
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w6mnJzVScv8
http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html

We then started playing with Fermi questions. There are lots of resources to explore on this:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_problem
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nM3-pvmOE18
Some take it to university level:
http://web.mit.edu/6.055/
http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sanjoy/oom/book-letter.pdf
And some that answer the questions we have all been thinking (all the physics in this is in the year 12 course):
http://www.wired.com/2012/05/the-physics-of-the-hulks-jump/

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