Q 2.4: Explain this statement clearly: “To call a dimensional quantity ‘large’ or ‘small’ is meaningless without specifying a standard for comparison”. In view of this, reframe the following statements wherever necessary :

(a) atoms are very small objects

(b) a jet plane moves with great speed

(c) the mass of Jupiter is very large

(d) the air inside this room contains a large number of molecules

(e) a proton is much more massive than an electron

(f) the speed of sound is much smaller than the speed of light

Answers (1)

The given statement is true. A dimensional quantity may be small with respect to one reference and maybe large with respect to another reference. Hence, we require a standard reference to judge for comparison.

(a) An atom is a very small object with respect to a tennis ball. (but larger than an electron!) 

(b) A jet plane moves with great speed with respect to a train.

 (c) The mass of Jupiter is very large as compared to an apple.

(d) The air inside this room contains a large number of molecules as compared to in your lungs.

(e) A proton is much more massive than an electron 

(f) The speed of sound is less than the speed of light

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