Discovering Your Friend's Location in a Forest: Astrophysics Question Homework

In summary, the problem presents a scenario where you are lost in a forest and become separated from your friend. The trees in the forest are randomly spread with an average spacing of 3 m and have a typical diameter of 20 cm. You can hear your friend calling but cannot see her due to the tree trunks blocking your view. The solution involves calculating the mean free path and optical depth to determine how close you need to get to your friend before being able to see her. This can be done by finding the average size of the forest needed to block your view of the outside.
  • #1
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Homework Statement



You are lost in a forest. You have become separated from your friend. At your eye level, only tree
trunks block your view of distant parts of the forest (there are no leaves and branches at eye level to
block your view, only tree trunks). The trees are spread randomly throughout the forest, but with a
typical spacing of about 3 m, and the tree trunks have typical diameters of 20 cm. You can hear your
friend calling, but you can't see her. Approximately how close do you need to get to each other before
you will see your friend?

Homework Equations




Mean free path=1/n*sigma=1/n*pi*r^2
Optical Depth T=x/1/n*sigma=n*x*sigma
I/Io=e^-nxsigma

The Attempt at a Solution



Not really sure where to go with this to be honest... I don't see how I have enough information/what assumptions to make

Obviously we can solve for Sigma since we have the diamter, but then we don't know how big the forest area/volume is so we can't find n (make an assumption?)

Thanks for any help
 
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  • #2
You know the mean spacing of the trees... you don't need to know the overall size of the forest if you do it in terms of densities. Perhaps think this way: what is the average size the forest needs to be to block your view of the outside?
 

What is the purpose of discovering a friend's location in a forest?

The purpose of discovering a friend's location in a forest is to locate and track their movements for safety purposes, to meet up with them, or for recreational activities such as camping or hiking.

How does astrophysics relate to discovering a friend's location in a forest?

Astrophysics can be used to determine a friend's location in a forest by using methods such as triangulation and GPS technology. These techniques involve measuring the distances and angles between celestial bodies and the friend's location on Earth to accurately pinpoint their location in the forest.

What tools are needed to discover a friend's location in a forest using astrophysics?

The tools needed to discover a friend's location in a forest using astrophysics include a star chart, a compass, a GPS device, a map of the forest, and a knowledge of celestial bodies and their movements.

Are there any limitations to using astrophysics to discover a friend's location in a forest?

Yes, there are some limitations to using astrophysics for this purpose. Cloudy or obstructed skies can make it difficult to use celestial bodies for navigation, and not all areas in a forest may have clear views of the sky. Additionally, a good understanding of astrophysics is necessary to accurately use these methods.

What are some other methods for discovering a friend's location in a forest?

Other methods for discovering a friend's location in a forest include using landmarks, following footprints or other signs, using a map and compass, or calling for help and using a GPS device to share coordinates. It is always important to plan ahead and have a way to communicate with your friend in case of emergencies.

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