All Coronavirus Particles in the World Could Fit Inside a Cola Can

Watch this mathematician explain how he calculated the "can of coronavirus."
Derya Ozdemir

Given the devastating effect it had on the world, SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes the coronavirus disease, might seem like a giant beast looming all over the world — however, in reality, it is far from being a giant.

This video's premise centers around Kit Yates asking people on Twitter to calculate the number of SARS-CoV-2 particles that are present in the world right now. Yates explains in the video, which is up on YouTube channel Numberphile, how he did the calculation and found a possible answer. According to his estimates, the SARS-CoV-2 particles circulating in the world right now could easily fit inside a regular can of coke. He says that he is open to people disagreeing with his answer and goes on to explain that this sort of estimation is called a "Fermi estimate," which is named after the physicist Enrico Fermi.

This comparison not only shows how much devastation can be caused by minuscule viral particles but also offers a brief look into the wonderful world of mathematics. Enjoy!


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