This is the problem:

"Suppose 300 cubic meters of oil is spilled into the ocean. Find the area of the resulting slick, assuming that it is one molecule thick and that each molecule occupies a cube 0.50 µm on a side."

Please help!

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- Sep 3rd 2007, 05:41 PMhelp1Can you please help me with this problem? Physics.
This is the problem:

"Suppose 300 cubic meters of oil is spilled into the ocean. Find the area of the resulting slick, assuming that it is one molecule thick and that each molecule occupies a cube 0.50 µm on a side."

Please help! - Sep 3rd 2007, 06:56 PMTKHunny
You have assumed that the molecues fit together perfectly. This is only a division problem.

$\displaystyle \frac{300 m^{3}}{0.5 \mu^{3}}$ = Number of Molecules

Where are you struggling, this setup or the unit conversion? - Sep 4th 2007, 11:47 AMtopsquark
(This is from the other thread.)

No. The area of the spill is not 600 $\displaystyle m^2$. Keep track of your units.

The volume of the spill is

$\displaystyle V = \text{Area} \times \text{thickness}$

So

$\displaystyle \text{Area} = \frac{V}{\text{thickness}}$

We know the volume of the spill and we know that the spill is one molecule thick, so

$\displaystyle \text{Area} = \frac{300~m^3}{0.50~\mu m}$

as TKHunny said.

Now get the units on top and bottom to be similar:

$\displaystyle \frac{300~m^3}{0.50~\mu m} \cdot \frac{1~\mu m}{1 \times 10^{-6}~m} = \frac{300~m^3}{0.5 \times 10^{-6}~m} = 600 \times 10^6~m^2 = 6 \times 10^8~m^2$

Always always*always*keep track of your units!

-Dan