Concept

Fermi problem

Summary
In physics or engineering education, a Fermi problem (or Fermi quiz, Fermi question, Fermi estimate), also known as a order-of-magnitude problem (or order-of-magnitude estimate, order estimation), is an estimation problem designed to teach dimensional analysis or approximation of extreme scientific calculations, and such a problem is usually a back-of-the-envelope calculation. The estimation technique is named after physicist Enrico Fermi as he was known for his ability to make good approximate calculations with little or no actual data. Fermi problems typically involve making justified guesses about quantities and their variance or lower and upper bounds. In some cases, order-of-magnitude estimates can also be derived using dimensional analysis. Historical background An example is Enrico Fermi's estimate of the strength of the atomic bomb that detonated at the Trinity test, based on the distance traveled by pieces of paper he dropped from his hand during the blast. Fermi
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