2
$\begingroup$

I have got one assignment to calculate the approximate sum total of all cells in the human body. How to tackle this problem? I know that the current statistics is $10^{13}$ cells. I wanted some hints.

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ @kmm Actually I don't know where to start. $\endgroup$
    – dexterdev
    Aug 24, 2014 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ yes I calculated it by dividing the volumes. Volume of average human body / avg. volume of a mammalian cell. Around 10^14 cells. $\endgroup$
    – dexterdev
    Aug 24, 2014 at 13:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So that's larger by only one order of magnitude. Not that bad for a rough approximation. $\endgroup$
    – ChrKoenig
    Aug 24, 2014 at 14:12

1 Answer 1

2
$\begingroup$

This is a classic Fermi estimation problem. The usual approach is to estimate the volume of a body, estimate the volume of a cell, and divide one by the other, remembering of course to have both volumes in the same units.

My quick attempt gave 1013 to the nearest order of magnitude.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.