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Where does the three go?

  1. Aug 28, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    One liter (1000 cm3) of oil is spilled onto a smooth lake. If the oil spreads out uniformly until it makes an oil slick just three molecules thick, with adjacent molecules just touching, estimate the diameter of the oil slick. Assume the oil molecules have a diameter of 2 ✕ 10^-10m.
    2. Relevant equations
    V= (h)(pi)(r^2)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    [sqrt 10m^3/(3)pi(2x10^-10)] *2
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    You have a cube of oil 1000 cm^3 and once its dispersed you'll have a cylinder of oil whose height is 3 molecules thick.

    Pay attention to units conversion as the cube's volume is in cm^3 whereas the diameter of the oil molecule is in meters.
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