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Homework Help: Finding the area of an oil slick

  1. Jun 20, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Assume that an oil slick consists of a single layer of molecules and that each molecule occupies a cube 0.792 nm on a side.
    Determine the area of an oil slick formed by 1.56 m^3 of oil.
    Answer in units of m^2.

    2. Relevant equations

    1 nanometer = 1.0E9 meters

    3. The attempt at a solution

    .792 nm = 7.92E-10 m

    (1.56 m^3) / (7.92E-10 m) = 1.97E9 m^2


    I think I'm doing everything right, but it's coming up as wrong...could someone please look through my work and point out anything I'm doing wrong?

    That would be much appreciated, thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2011 #2


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    If you imagine the volume of oil as a cube consisting of a stack of many one-molecule-thick layers, then what you have calculated is the area of a single layer.
  4. Jun 20, 2011 #3
    Thanks, lewando. I realized that I forgot the "+9" after the E when entering the problem in uTexas...although that's never been an issue before, I guess uTexas now requires that for exponents.
  5. Jun 20, 2011 #4


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    I'm glad it you figured that out. Please disregard my prior post altogether. I am flat-out dyslexic and it resulted in me giving you bad information.
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