Trivia

Hard

A “Barn” Is A Unit Of Measurement Used In What?

Sailing
Cell Tower Construction
Data Backup
Nuclear Physics
An image of an actual lead ion collision taken from tracking detectors on the NA49 experiment, part of the heavy ion project at CERN.
CERN/CERN Document Server

Answer: Nuclear Physics

When you think of a barn, you likely think of a large storage building located on a farm. In the teeny tiny world of nuclear physics, however, a barn is an absolutely minuscule measurement of area equal to 1.0×10−28 m2.

The term originated in the Manhattan Project in the 1940s. Physicists working at Purdue University needed a secret term to refer to the approximate cross-section of the nucleus of an atom. The decision to use “barn” as the term was a clever joke since their research focused on hitting the nucleus with an accelerated particle—an extremely difficult task—but the American English idiom “couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn” suggests someone has aim so poor that they couldn’t hit a large object with a baseball.

There are two derivative units of area measurement used less frequently: the outhouse (1.0×10−6 barns) and the shed (1.0×10−24 barns).

Trivia

Hard

Which Soft Drink Was Purposely Made Awful To Destroy The Competition?

Trivia

Hard

Who Graces The Most Valuable Baseball Card In The World?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Common Household Items Was Invented By Accident?

Trivia

Hard

The Eiffel Tower Was Saved From Demolition By What?

Trivia

Hard

In The Early 19th Century, England Was Gripped By A Craze For?

Trivia

Hard

The First City To Install Curb Cuts In Their Sidewalks Was?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Film Was The First Nominated For A Best Picture Oscar?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Animals Has Rectangular Pupils?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Foods Was Created To Cut Down On Food Waste?

Trivia

Hard

Actress Angelina Jolie Has A Species Of What Creature Named After Her?