Powers of 10 - Sizes in meters

Numbers can be written as d.ddd x10p which means the multiplication d.ddd x 10 x 10 … x 10, where there are p copies of 10. That is, d.ddd times 10 raised to the pth power. This amounts to moving the decimal point in d.ddd to the right by p places. 5.280x103 is 5.280x1000 is 5280. When p is negative, the decimal point moves to the left. {Memory: when p is one, we multiply once by ten; that moves the point one place to the right. For negative p, think of the number line, negative values are to the left of zero.}

The table below gives examples of objects scaled to various powers of ten. The p column gives the power, Example names the example, Value gives its actual size, E-M l names the form of electro-magnetic (E-M) radiation whose wave length (l ) is roughly the given size.

m meter (~ one-forty-millionth of the earth’s circumference)

km kilometer = 1x103 m =1000 m

kly kilo light year = 9.46 x 1018 m (light’s travel in 1000 years )

nm nanometer = 1x10-9 m = m/1,000,000,000

fm femtometer = 1x10-6 nm = 1x10-15 m

p Example Value E-M l
26 
knowable universe 20 million kly
25


24




23




22 

Local group (our galaxy cluster) 4,000 kly

21 

Milky way (our galaxy)
100 kly
20


19

19



18



17



16
to Proxima Centauri (nearest star) .004 kly
15



14



13



12



11

Earth to Sun

149 million km
10



9
Sun, diameter
1.4 million km
8



7
Earth, diameter
12,756 km
6
a long day’s drive (Pgh-St.Louis) 
983 km ELF radio
5
one hour driving at 60 mph 97 km
4
Mount Everest, height
8.85 km
3
ten minute walk (120 paces/min)
1.1 km
AM radio
2
football field
100 m
1

house, height

10 m  FM radio
0

human, height                                                     

1.8 m
microwaves
-1
breadbox, height
.2 m
microwave oven
-2
finger width
.015 m cell phones
-3
integrated circuit chip .003 m
-4


infrared
-5
red blood cell
7,000 nm
infrared
-6
chromosome (folded DNA)
600 nm
visible light (400-700)
-7
transistor on a chip 65 nm
ultraviolet
-8
gene
<50 nm
ultraviolet
-9


soft x-rays
-10
atom .1 nm
hard xrays
-11



-12
gamma rays

-13
Ń /mc for electron *
230 fm
-14
nucleus of an atom
10 fm
-15
proton (physical size)
.8 fm
-16
Ń /mc for u/d quark & proton * .35 & .12 fm
-17
Ń /mc for bottom quark *
.034 fm
-18
Ń /mc for top quark * .001 fm
-19
* {Ń /mc is the Compton length, it depends only on mass}
-20



-21



-22



-23



-24



-25



-26



-27



-28



-29



-30



-31



-32



-33



-34



-35
Planck length (least meaningful distance)  1.6x10-35 m

Fundamental Particles

Components of “everything” (terms in parentheses are non-technical):

everything is built from fermions(forces) and bosons (matter); simple matter is leptons (like electrons) and quarks; compound matter is hadrons each composed of a few quarks; baryons like neutrons and protons are 3 quarks apiece and mesons are two quarks apiece

http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/e1/elemparT1A1B1L1E1.asp

For each particle listed below -- except the photon, gluon, and Z-boson -- there is an antiparticle with the same mass and opposite charge. Usually an antiparticle is denoted by an overbar over the particle symbol, sym, but here I use apostrophe due to font limitations. Because quarks cannot be isolated, the masses given for them are approximate.

mass is in units of MeV/c2 (=1.783× 10-36 kg )

chg is in units of the charge on the electron (= 1.602 x 10-19 coulombs)

Guage bosons - forces

particle

sym

mass

chg

photon

g

0

0

gluon

g

0

0

W-boson

W

80200

1

Z-boson

Z

91170

0

 

Leptons - lightweight particles

particle

sym

mass

chg

electron

e-

0.511

-1

muon

m -

105.7

-1

tau

t

1784.1

-1

electron neutrino

n e

<7.3×10-6

0

muon neutrino

n m

< 0.27

0

Tau neutrino

n t

< 15

0

 

 

Quarks - components of heavyweight particles

particle

sym

mass

chg

down

d

5-15

-1/3

up

u

2-8

2/3

strange

s

100-300

-1/3

charm

c

1300-1700

2/3

bottom

b

4700-5300

-1/3

top

t

>91,000

2/3

 

Hadrons - heavyweight particles

Sample Baryons (all baryons are three quarks)

particle

sym

mass

chg

quarks

proton

p

938.3

1

uud

neutron

n

939.6

0

udd

lambda

l

1115.6

0

uds

 

Sample Mesons (all mesons are two quarks)

particle

sym

mass

chg

quarks

positive pion

p +

139.6

1

ud’

positive kaon

K+

493.7

1

us’





Rhodopsin

<>The photosensitive molecule involved in vision is called rhodopsin, (also known as visual purple) which consists of a large protein (having a molecular weight of around 38,000) called opsin, joined to 11-cis-retinal via a protonated Schiff base on one of its lysine side-chains.

molecular diagram showing the structure described in the text

Opsin does not absorb visible light, but when it is bonded with 11-cis-retinal to form rhodopsin, the new molecule has a very broad absorption band in the visible region of the spectrum. The peak of the absorption is around 500 nm [5000 Angstroms], which matches the output of the sun closely. When a photon of light falls onto rhodopsin, the molecule absorbs the energy and the cis-double-bond between C-11 and C-12 in the retinal is temporarily converted into a single bond. This means the molecule can now rotate around this bond, which it does by swivelling through 180°. The double bond then reforms and locks the molecule back into position in a trans configuration. Thus the light has isomerised the molecule from cis to trans, and as it did so, it changed the shape of the retinal from curved to straight. Essentially, the energy in a photon has been converted into atomic motion.

Whereas the 11-cis-retinal fitted into the opsin binding site perfectly, all-trans-retinal is the wrong shape. The Schiff base linkage becomes unstable, and the molecule undergoes a series of shape changes to try and better fit the binding site, before eventually breaking free of the opsin altogether. These rapid movements of the retinal are tranfered to the protein, and from there into the lipid membrane and nerve cells to which it is attached. This generates nerve impulses which travel along the optic nerve to the brain, and we perceive them as visual signals - sight. The free all-trans-retinal is then converted back into the cis form by a series of enzyme-catalysed reactions, whereupon is reattaches to another opsin ready for the next photon to begin the process again.



Propagation of E/M waves. The Electric field induces a magneitc field. The magnetic field induces an electric field. They tango together across the universe.

diagram showing orthogonal electric and magnetic fields

The formulas for the electric and magnetic fields in this wave are:

the electric and magnetic fields are cosine waves in time and are perpendicular; the elctric field is proportional to the magnetic

where the frequency and wavelength are related by c = f l.


"Wave Packet" version of a photon. The amplitude of the waves in the packet is close to zero everywhere but in the neighborhood of the packet.

"Wave Packet" version of a photon; the amplitude ramps down from the middle to the ends, in almost a normal curve