02 August 2009

Order of Magnitude

This image is truncated on the right, please click on it to see the full version!

With the power of science we can now calculate this! At least a rough number.

Let's say that teach morning you create a small bit of crud 1mm to a side, so 1mm by 1mm by 1mm, so the volume of this one bit of crud is 1e-9m^3 (or if you like to write things fancy, 10-9m3). Yeah you have two eyes, but this is a rough calculation, so I'm going to ignore that. I'm also going to ignore that you don't wake up with crud every day of your life. We do however need your lifespan, let's say 80 years approximately, 365.25 days per year, so you live 2.922e4 days, or let's round that off and say 3e4 days. Multiply the number of days you wake up, by how much crud you get each day, and voila, 3e-5m^3.

According to my favorite conversion website, a teaspoon has a volume of around 5e-6m^3, with the result that you actually produce around 6 teaspoons of eye crud in your lifetime.


Anonymous said...

Nice calculation! I just started thinking about how you could refine it with experiments (e.g., measuring the crud production over the course of a month).

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utenzi said...

Crud production varies so much. I think you need to find a better example for your applied math, Perl.

Microbiology said...

Nice one to show the order of Magnitude. and good calculation.