01 March
2010

On the weekend, I went with my old friend Robbie Drummond and his girlfriend Kat to the "Bodies" exhibit here in Montreal. hat exhibit includes, among other things, a plastic mold of some the human circulatory system and it's incredible branching structure. This is really one of the most impressive things in the show.

Robbie was impressed by the fact that the veins in the circulatory system, in layed out end-to-end, would reach something like 100,000 km (or miles, since the number is pretty approximate and based on some vague assumptions). I tend not to like this kind of descriptive device since it is unrelated to every-day intuition, and thus lends itself to amazing figures.

To illustrate my point, I thought it would be interesting to consider how much maple syrup we need to make a thin trail of maple syrup from the plate on my dinner table to the surface of the moon.

Well, with 1.21liters of maple syrup (one large bottle), if we lead a trail 0.001 mm thick, we can reach the moon. This is based on the average distance to the moon ( 385000 km ) and the radius of a cylinder of syrup being 0.001mm. The maple syrup you need can be obtained for about $25, but drawing out the stream might be a bit tricky.

In contrast, it you want the trail of syrup to be a more respectable millimeter in radius, you'll need a more substantial 1,210,000 litres of syrup. That's about 1/25 of Quebec's annual maple syrup production: there would still be lots left for pancakes.

In short, with a seeming "minor" tweak in the numbers, we can make it seem easy to get to the moon with maple syrup (or not).

Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup (image by Brett L.)


By Gregory Dudek at | Read (2) or Leave a comment |    
Comments
Re: Going to the moon with maple syrup

I think the stream might be more manageable and a whole lot cheaper if you used Aunt Jemima.

Plus, you'd get much further into the solar system since Quebec's annual maple syrup harvest would no longer be a limiting factor either. Think how much high-fructose corn syrup potential there is in the world!

Posted by: Grade B Maple Syrup at April 25,2010 21:11
Re: Going to the moon with maple syrup

Lol, interesting analogy.

Posted by: Maple Syrup at December 12,2010 17:04
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