tireiss
http://www.physorg.com/news2671.html

Hey everyone, I have some questions, that I think you could help me with.
Question one. about how much chewing gum is sold each year in the united states?
Question 2 Given a 16x10x12 box how many paper clips will fit in the box?
Matt
assuming that a paper clip is about an inch long and about 1/4 inch wide, then that's 4 per squar inch. (these are approximations, though based on the question I'm assuming they are wanting you to approximate instead of calculate)

sounds like extra credit to me.

anyway. so if we stack them on each other. I would say we can probably get 20 per inch of couse are we talking inches or cm?

if you want cm then you'll have to convert.

so 20 * 4 = 80 paper clips per cuibic inch.

so, 16*10*12*80 = 153,600 paper clips.

though if you want a more accurate number, you should probably measure a paper clip and see how close my gueses are.

Guest
Hi Matt and tireiss,

Like all good Scientists you should test the theory. Make the box, buy some paper clips and do the experiment. I would say it would be "nice" to document the methodology (eg: settle the paper clips down by vigorous shaking side to side for a fixed period of time and fully pack the box, plus other details). The paper clips can be then counted. Yeah I know this is a real pain with 153K or so clips. I suggest weighing several and determining a mean weight. Or counting the entire box full and use this as a measure of one for the next box full.

In the end the experiment should be repeated several times and the results charted and the error limits determined along with mean and standard deviation. You can then compare this with the Theory. You will not only be spot on but it will be very hard for others to prove you wrong.

Cheers
Guest
That was me - Good Elf
Matt
of course I just thought of a few new twists to this.

if the paper clips are stacked neatly one on top of the other. it does leave room in the center of each stack for more paper clips placed vertically. which will allow several more to be placed in the box.

as well, if you are allowed to unbend each paper clip, then you could fit quite a bit more in as well.

and if you can melt them all down and poor them into the box. well there'd be a whole lot more. but then it would be easier to go by weight and volume than by counting.
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Myra john
Hello heres a question
How much gum is sold in a year?
kaneda
All you ever wanted to know about chewing gum :