|This is a good way to find out about the size of Avogadro's Number but also to properly deal with scientific notation on a calculator.|
|You have 6.02 x 1023 dollars. If you spend this
at the rate of one billion (1 x 109) dollars per second, how
long, in years, will it last?
Place your estimate here:___________________________
|Here is one solution!|
|Determine how many seconds will be required to spend 6.02
dollars at the rate of 1 x 109 dollars pers second.
6.02 X 1023
= 6.02 x 1014 seconds required to spend all of
|Determine the total number of seconds in one year.
60 seconds X 60 minutes X 24
X 365 days = 31,536,000 seconds in one year.
|Divide the number of seconds required to spend $6.02
1023 by the number of seconds in a year.
6.02 X 1014
= 1.91 X 107 years
|It would take over 19 million years to spend Avogadro's number of dollars if the money were spent at the rate of one billion dollars per second.|
|If the money was to earn interest at the rate of one percent per year ($6.02 X 1021), it would be impossible to spend all of the money at the rate of one billion dollars per second (6).|
|Other examples of Avogadro's number:
32,600 chess boards would be required to accomodate Avogadro's number of hydrogen atoms, if, on each board, a person could place one atom on the first square, two on the second, four on the third, eight on the fourth, and so on (1).
|If Avogadro's number of sheets of paper were divided into a million equal piles, each pile would be so tall that it would stretch from the Earth to the Sun and beyond. (2)|
|A CRAY S-1 super computer with a nominal speed rating of 1,000 mips (millions of instructions per second) would require 1.9 million years to process Avogadro's number of steps (3).|
|Avogadro's number of pennies placed side by side would stretch for more than a million light years (4).|
|Counting at a rate of one atom per second, for 48 hours per week, it would take the entire population of the world 10 million years in order to reach Avogadro's number (5).|
|In order to obtain Avogadro's number of grains of sand, it would be necessary to dig the entire surface of the Sahara desert (whose area of 8 X 106 km2 is slightly less than that of the United States) to a depth of 2 metres (6).|
|(1) D. Todd, "Five Avogadro's Number Problems", Journal of Chemical Education, 62, 76, 1985.|
|(2) D. Kolb, "The Mole", Journal of Chemical Education, 55, 728-732, 1978.|
|(3) P.S. Poskozim, J.W.Wazorick, P. Tiempetpaisal and J.A. Poskozim, "Analogies for Avogadro's Number", Journal of Chemical Education, 63, 125-126, 1986.|
|(4) F.A. Bettelheim and J. March, Introduction to General, Organic and Biochemistry, 2nd edition, New York, W.B. Saunders, 1988.|
|(5) W.L. Masterton, J. Slowinski and C.L. Stanitski, Chemical Principles, 6th edition, New York, W.B. Saunders, 1985|
|(6) Henk van Lubeck, "How to Visualize Avogadro's Number", Journal of Chemical Education, volume 66, page 762, September 1989.|