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# Physics POGIL: Effects of Scaling How and why do changes in scale affect the ways things work?

Review of Scaling and Applications As we saw earlier, linear dimensions, areas, and volume change by different factors as objects are scaled up/down. Namely, when all linear dimensions of an object are multiplied by a certain number k, its areas are multiplied by k2 and volume is multiplied by k3. Similarly, when all linear dimensions of an object are divided by a certain number k, its areas are divided by k2 and volume is divided by k3. When thinking about scaling, consider the following properties of objects. Mass and weight are proportional to volume (assuming same material). Strength and air resistance are proportional to cross-sectional area. An object makes contact with its surroundings through its surface area.

The rules of scaling apply to all shapes. 1. As an object is scaled up, its surface (and cross-sectional) area and volume increase. Do area and volume increase by the same factor? If not, which one increases by a greater factor?

2. As an object is scaled down, its surface (and cross-sectional) area and volume decrease. Do area and volume decrease by the same factor? If not, which one decreases more dramatically?

3. As an object is scaled up, its strength and weight increase. Do strength and weight increase by the same factor? If not, which one increases by a greater factor?

4. As an object is scaled down, it gets weaker and lighter. Do strength and weight decrease by the same factor? If not, which one decreases more dramatically?

5. Imagine two dogs: a full-size poodle and a scaled-down miniature poodle. (a) Which animal has more skin? Support your answer.

Physics (b) Which animal has more skin per body weight? Support your answer.

6. Imagine two athletes, one smaller and one larger but having the same body proportions. (a) Which one weighs more? Support your answer.

7. An animal cell feeds through its membrane and grows. Suppose it reaches three times its original volume. (a) Will it have three times, less than three times, or more than three times the membrane surface?

(b) Why is there a limit to how large an animal cell can be? Support your answer.

8. Imagine we are baking a loaf of bread for 30 minutes in a 10 cm 30 cm 10 cm pan. We now wish to bake a loaf that is scaled up by a factor of 2. (a) Comparing the bigger loaf of bread to the original, will the surface area change by a factor less than 2, equal to 2, or greater than 2?

(b) Comparing the bigger loaf of bread to the original, will the volume change by a factor less than 2, equal to 2, or greater than 2?

(c) More surface means less baking time due to greater exposure to the surroundings. More volume means more baking time due to the increased amount of matter involved. i. Do these two effects cancel out?

Physics ii. Will the time you need to bake the scaled up loaf be less than 30 minutes, equal to 30 minutes, or greater than 30 minutes? Justify your answer.

9. Imagine two kinds of potatoes, one small and one large. (a) Which potato produces less peel? Support your answer.

(b) Suppose we have ten pounds of the large potatoes and ten pounds of the small potatoes. Which produces less peel? Support your answer.

10. Imagine we are waiting for a large pile of snow to melt in the warm spring sun. We may end up waiting all day if we don't use concepts of scaling to help us. So let's take the pile of snow and divide it up into a hundred smaller snowballs. (a) By dividing the pile into smaller snowballs, has the total volume of snow increased, decreased, or remain unchanged?

(b) By dividing the pile into smaller snowballs, has the total surface area of snow increased, decreased, or remain unchanged?

(c) Explain why the snow melts faster by dividing it up into smaller snowballs.

11. Why do the properties of objects change as they are scaled up/down? Support your answer.

Problems 12. Recall cubes #1, #2, #3 and #4 from our previous POGIL.

cube #1 1 cm edge

## cube #4 scaled by a factor of 4

Physics (a) Using the chart from 10(a) of the previous POGIL, calculate the surface to volume ratio, volume to surface ratio, cross-sectional area to volume ratio, and volume to cross-sectional area ratio for each cube in the chart below. surface area per volume (units: ) volume per surface area (units: ) cross-sectional area per volume (units: ) volume per cross-sectional area (units: )

## Cube #1 #2 #3 #4 a cube scaled up by a factor of k

13. As an object is scaled up, does each of the following increase, decrease, or remain the same? (a) area to volume ratio

## (b) volume to area ratio

14. As an object is scaled down, does each of the following increase, decrease, or remain the same? (a) area to volume ratio