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Guesstimation 2.0:
Solving Today's Problems on the Back of a Napkin
Lawrence Weinstein
Illustrations by Patricia Edwards

Book Description | Reviews
Preface [in PDF format]

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Acknowledgments xi
Preface xiii

1 How to Solve Problems 1

2 General Questions 11

  • 2.1 Who unrolled the toilet paper? 13
  • 2.2 Money height 17
  • 2.3 Blotting out the Sun 19
  • 2.4 Really extra-large popcorn 21
  • 2.5 Building volume 25
  • 2.6 Mass of money 29
  • 2.7 A baseball in a glass of beer 33
  • 2.8 Life on the phone 37
  • 2.9 Money under the bridge 41
  • 2.10 Monkeys and Shakespeare 45
  • 2.11 The titans of siren 49
  • 2.12 Airheads at the movies 53
  • 2.13 Heavy cars and heavier people 55
  • 2.14 Peeing in the pool 59

3 Recycling: What Really Matters? 63

  • 3.1 Water bottles 67
  • 3.2 99 bottles of beer on the wall . . . 71
  • 3.3 Can the aluminum 75
  • 3.4 Paper or plastic? 79
  • 3.5 Paper doesn't grow on trees! 83
  • 3.6 The rain in Spain . . . 87
  • 3.7 Bottom feeders 91
  • 3.8 You light up my life! 95

4 The Five Senses 101

  • 4.1 Don't stare at the Sun 103
  • 4.2 Men of vision 105
  • 4.3 Light a single candle 109
  • 4.4 Oh say can you see? 113
  • 4.5 Bigger eyes 117
  • 4.6 They're watching us! 121
  • 4.7 Beam the energy down, Scotty! 125
  • 4.8 Oh say can you hear? 131
  • 4.9 Heavy loads 135

5 Energy and Work 139

  • 5.1 Power up the stairs 143
  • 5.2 Power workout 145
  • 5.3 Water over the dam 149
  • 5.4 A hard nut to crack 153
  • 5.5 Mousetrap cars 155
  • 5.6 Push hard 159
  • 5.7 Pumping car tires 161
  • 5.8 Pumping bike tires 165
  • 5.9 Atomic bombs and confetti 169

6 Energy and Transportation 173

  • 6.1 Gas-powered humans 177
  • 6.2 Driving across country 181
  • 6.3 Keep on trucking 185
  • 6.4 Keep on biking 189
  • 6.5 Keep on training 193
  • 6.6 Keep on flying 197
  • 6.7 To pee or not to pee 201
  • 6.8 Solar-powered cars 205
  • 6.9 Put a doughnut in your tank 209
  • 6.10 Perk up your car 213
  • 6.11 Don't slow down 217
  • 6.12 Throwing tomatoes 219

7 Heavenly Bodies 223

  • 7.1 Orbiting the Sun 227
  • 7.2 Flying off the Earth 229
  • 7.3 The rings of Earth 233
  • 7.4 It is not in the stars to hold our destiny 237
  • 7.5 Orbiting a neutron star 241
  • 7.6 How high can we jump? 245
  • 7.7 Collapsing Sun 249
  • 7.8 Splitting the Moon 253
  • 7.9 Splitting a smaller moon 257
  • 7.10 Spinning faster and slower 263
  • 7.11 Shrinking Sun 267
  • 7.12 Spinning Earth 271
  • 7.13 The dinosaur killer and the day 273
  • 7.14 The Yellowstone volcano and the day 277
  • 7.15 The orbiting Moon 281
  • 7.16 The shortest day 283

8 Materials 289

  • 8.1 Stronger than spider silk 291
  • 8.2 Beanstalk to orbit 295
  • 8.3 Bolt failure 299
  • 8.4 Making mountains out of molecules 303
  • 8.5 Chopping down a tree 307

9 Radiation 311

  • 9.1 Nuclear neutrinos 315
  • 9.2 Neutrinos and you 319
  • 9.3 Solar neutrinos 323
  • 9.4 Supernovas can be dangerous 327
  • 9.5 Reviving ancient bacteria 331
  • 9.6 Decaying protons 335
  • 9.7 Journey to the center of the galaxy 337

Appendix A

  • Dealing with Large Numbers 341
  • A.1 Large Numbers 341
  • A.2 Precision, Lots of Digits, and Lying 343
  • A.3 Numbers and Units 345

Appendix B

  • Pegs to Hang Things On 347

Bibliography 351
Index 355

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File created: 10/23/2013

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