Q:

What is an example of a Fermi problem?

A:

Quick Answer

One classic example of a Fermi problem is the question "How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?" Arriving at a good estimate to the answer requires educated guesses, for example, of the population of Chicago, the number of persons in each household, and so on.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Generally, an answer to a Fermi problem is considered correct if it is within a factor of 10 of the real value. Fermi problems are named for physicist Enrico Fermi, who had a noted aptitude for back-of-the-envelope calculations. Fermi problems are a class of questions that call for rough estimates of unknown numbers, typically without reference to relevant information. Answering a Fermi problem well requires using general knowledge to make a series of educated guesses that arrive at a final estimate.

Learn more about Particle Physics

Related Questions

Explore