EDWARD'S LECTURE NOTES:

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C O U R S E

Emergence of Life

Bruce W. Fouke, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

C O U R S E L E C T U R E Order of Magnitude in the Sciences Notes taken on November 28, 2015 by Edward Tanguay |

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the concept of scale

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a common hurdle in understanding the **universe**

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two dimensions

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spatial

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how large or how small is something

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how long ago or how far in the future something is

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how to do handle the broad scales that we have to deal with for these two **dimensions**

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realize that when studying the world and our universe, spatial and temporal scales are vast

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we are used to understand most things in our lives as how big they are in relation to our human **bodies**

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a tree is three times as high as someone

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a child is half the size of an adult

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the average diameter of a bacteria is one **micron**

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one millionth of a meter

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we have the same time with temporal measurements

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we usually measure things in relation to the length of a **human** life

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cells divide within seconds

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the age of the earth, 4.7 **billion** years

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consider a critical conceptual **benchmark**

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is something 10 times larger or 10 times smaller

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is something 100 times larger or 100 times smaller

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something that is twice as big as something is interesting, but something that is ten times as big as something else is **fundamentally** different

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we can put objects in the universe into a ten by ten basis

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how many **zeros** come after a number

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if something that is 1000 times larger than something else is 3 powers of ten greater

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when something is 2 times the power of 10 smaller, it is 100 times smaller

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one power of ten is one order of **magnitude**

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average child is one meter tall

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how does the fit into the measurement of a **kilometer** high mountain

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the mountain is 3 powers of 10 larger than the child, or 3 orders of magnitude larger