Some time back, I reviewed a cool book about Fermi problems by Aaron Santos, then a post-doc at Michigan. In the interim, he’s taken a faculty job at Oberlin, written a second book on sports-related Fermi problems, and started a blog, none of which I had noticed until he emailed me. Shame on me.

Anyway, his new book is just out, and he’s running an estimation contest with a signed copy as the prize. So, if you’re the sort of person who enjoys Fermi problems, read his post then grab a convenient envelope and start estimating on the back. You have until June 1.


  1. #1 Patrick M. Dennis
    May 7, 2012

    Clicking around your hyperlinks above, I came across a comment from a reader who recalled the “Back of the Envelope” problems that were published in the 1980’s in the American Journal of Physics, and edited by Edward Purcell. The commenter hoped that they would one day be reprinted. Sure enough, The Magic that is Google whisks one to the following site: , where the Journal’s editors have provided links to the problems.
    Pat Dennis

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