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Math movie: The surprising math of cities and corporations

By Murray Bourne, 29 Jul 2011

Physicist Geoffrey West takes us through an examination of how metabolic rates and body masses occur along a log-log graph to the idea that pace of life slows with increasing size.

It all leads to a "scientific theory of cities" based on math. of course.

That log-log graph occurs around the 7-minute mark. The idea is that mice and birds have a low metabolic rate (less than 0.5 Watt) and low mass (less than 100 g), and at the other end of the scale, elephants have a much higher metabolic rate (more than 1000 Watts) and a higher mass (more than 1000 kg). Most animals fit quite closely to the line between those 2 extremes, on the log-log scale.

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