CSE 401 Assignment 1

Winter 2014

Robert R. Henry

Reading and Memory Refreshing

  1. Refresh your memory about SI, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_International
  2. Refres your memory about MKS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mks_system_of_units
  3. Experiment with the Google search engine OneBox for units conversion.  Visit https://www.google.com/ and type in the search term “1 acre in hectare”, for example.
  4. Read about the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter mission http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter and if you want http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/news/mco991110.html
  5. Read and understand the factor label method for dimensional analysis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_conversion_by_factor-label


In 1983 the snowpack in upper Colorado River basin melted out rapidly.  The data given to the computer models, and the computer models themselves, did not predict the melt out.  Consequently, the Glen Canyon dam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Canyon_Dam that impounds Lake Powell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_powell on the Colorado River was put under duress, and almost failed; the top of the dam was temporarily extended upward with plywood barricades to impound even more water!

How much water, in cubic meters per second, was flowing into Lake Powell at the peak of the flood?  Show your work, one conversion at a time, using the factor label method.  (Your answer may not agree with what Wikipedia says)

(The best book I read last year is titled “The Emerald Mile” by Kevin Fedarko.)