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

Geek Trivia

A "barn" is a unit of measurement used in what?

Data backup

Building the cell tower

Which of these is widely considered responsible for teaching people how to send a text message?

Computer simulation of atomic particle collision models in an acceleratorCERN

Answer: Nuclear Physics

When you think of a barn, you are probably thinking of a large storage building on a farm. In the tiny world of nuclear physics, however, a barn is an absolutely tiny measure of an area equal to 1.0 × 10-28 m2.

The term was born in the Manhattan Project in the 1940s. Physicists working at Purdue University needed a secret term to refer to the approximate section of the nucleus of an atom. The decision to use "barn" as a term was an intelligent joke, as their research was aimed at reaching the nucleus with an accelerated particle – an extremely difficult task – but the English-American idiom "could not hit the open sea. Next to a barn "suggests someone with a purpose so poor that it is impossible to hit a big object with a baseball.

Two derived units of surface measurement are used less frequently: the dependency (1.0 × 10-6 stalls) and the shed (1.0 × 10-24 stalls).

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