Unexpectedly Intriguing!
26 February 2021

What if you could collect all the particles of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus there are in the world together in one place. How much space do you think it would occupy?

Mathematician Kit Yates ran a back-of-the-envelope calculation to find out, where the final result might surprise you. The basic math has been described in the following short video:

In U.S. terms, 160 milliliters is the equivalent of 5.4 fluid ounces, which would better fit in a 5.5 fl. oz. V-8 juice can, the smallest size container in which this particular product may be purchased! Or if you prefer to reference another popular Campbell's product, all the coronavirus in the world would fit in just about half of a single iconic 10.75 fluid ounce can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup.

For our regular readers, if the name Kit Yates sounds familiar, it's because we've been linking to a BBC Four radio interview he gave in April 2020, in which he describes how back calculation may be used to identify the specific timing of events that have changed the trends for coronavirus infections. We've been employing that method as an integral part of our series exploring Arizona's experience during the coronavirus pandemic. In case you missed it, here is the previous entry in that series.

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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