## Mathematical Monday 10-25-10

This past Saturday was Mole day! For those who aren’t super nerdy science! dorks, a mole is 6.02 x 10^23 molecules, and Saturday was 10-23 (get it!). If you are in science! a mole is one of those numbers you memorize rather quickly. Actually, there are a whole bunch of those numbers depending on your field of science!, and here are a few more:

Acceleration due to gravity (at sea level) 9.8 m/s^2

Pi 3.14159 (I know many geeks know further digits, but this is a good minimum)

Gas constant 8.314 J/(mol-K)

The speed of light 3.00 x 10^8 m/s

Does having memorized the quadratic equation when I was about 10 count here too?

Well. I’m a biologist, so I’ve forgotten a lot of my good chemistry and physics (ick!) numbers, but I’m sure there are some of you out there who either remember the horror of memorizing these or actually still remember a few more!

1. Ooh, these are good ones. The other value I remember from chemistry is the specific heat of water, 4.186 J/(g degC), also useful for conversion because 4.186 J = 1 cal.

As far as oceanography goes, only two numbers come to mind at the moment:
1030 kg/m3 – approximate density of seawater
86400 seconds in a day – easy enough to calculate (60*60*24), but I find it helpful to know off the top of my head because it’s used in finding the Coriolis parameter, f = 4*pi*sin(latitude)/86400s.

• Oh, I like seconds in a day. I may need to learn that one just because.

Rosalind

2. ElZapato
Oct 26, 2010 @ 22:06:09

The speed of light is a teeny bit faster than 3.00 m/s.

more like 3.0 x 10^8 m/s :*)

• Whoops! Seems to have been left out. I’ll go fix that now!

Rosalind