First, look at the video The Falling Dollar, which shows the creative "domino effect" using gold dollar coins.
The video involves the stacking of 10,000 gold dollar coins. Recently, The U.S. government set up a bail-out plan for financial institutions that involved 700 trillion dollars*.
Question 1: If the video involved 700 trillion gold dollar coins, how long would it take for the coins to fall?
Note: Assume that the arrangement is repeated so that the rate remains the same as in the video...though it would require a surface that is quite large!
Question 2: Now, assume that you arrange all of the 700 trillion gold dollar coins in a rectangular array (sample shown for a square). What would be the length of the sides of the rectangle in feet (assuming you want it as close to being a square as possible)? Also, is there a way to arrange the coins in a rectangle on a flat surface, so that less area is needed? (Explain)
* Though the bailout is currently only 700 billion, I have taken the liberty to add three zeroes; I expect that the bailout will eventually reach that figure...and this web site needs to remain current!
Hint: For Question A, can you set up a proportion?
For Question B, what factorization of 700 trillion is closest to being the sides of a square?
Solution Commentary: Sorry, no answer provided thus far...as I need hands-on materials to work out this problem. Any one willing to lend me 700 trillion gold dollar coins for a weekend? Lets' see if I put your loan in a bank* on Friday at 3% and take it out on Monday, for the four days I will earn....!
* Assuming that banks still exist...