Physics Review Question

Unit: mechanics
Year: 1995 Question#: 1
Question: The thickness of a dollar bill is closest to

(1 ) 10-4 m
(2 ) 10-2 m
(3 ) 10-2 m
(4 ) 101 m

What is this question really asking?

Explanation by: Christine A

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Answer 1
10-4 m


This is correct because 10-4m is equal to .0001 m, or 0.1 mm. This is approximately the thickness of your ordinary dollar bill. return to top

Answer 2
10-2 m


10-2m is equal to one centimeter, or about the thickness of an average thumb. Ordinary dollar bills are not this thick, so answer 2 must be incorrect. return to top

Answer 3
10-1 m


This answer is equal to 0.1 meters, or 10 centimeters. This is considerably thicker than a dollar bill- however, it is comparable to a large stack of dollar bills- thus, this answer must be incorrect. return to top

Answer 4
101 m


Ten to the first power meters is equal to ten meters. Thus, this question states that a dollar bill is ten meters tall. Ten meters is approximately the height of a one-story building. Knowing this, answer 4 is clearly wrong. return to top

What's this question really asking?

(a) Do you know how to use exponents (especially negative ones)?
(b) Do you know the approximate length of a meter?
(c) Do you know how big a dollar bill is? return to top

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