This column contains problems and solutions for the general category of questions known as “Fermi” questions. Forcing the students to use their ability to estimate, giving answers in terms of order-of-magnitude, is not only a challenge for a competition, but a teaching strategy to use in the classroom to develop self-confidence and the ability to analyze answers as to whether or not they make sense, as opposed to relying on the “precision” of a calculator value.
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Karen Bouffard; Fermi questions. Phys. Teach. 1 May 1999; 37 (5): 314. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.880277
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