ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10 Visualizing Orders of Magnitude and Other Systems of Measurement Katharine Harmon
To comprehend the world we inhabit, we measure it. Everything is quantified—the vastness of the universe, the microscopic components of a cell, the dangers of a meteorological event, the happiness of a society. But quantifying is only the first step to understanding our surroundings. To grasp the meaning of a measurement requires placing it on a scale, showing how it relates to more and to less.
On a Scale of 1 to 10 presents photographic conceptualizations of a wide range of measurement systems, allowing readers to visualize each at a glance. Accompanying text gives concise explanations and histories of common and less familiar systems, such as
blood alcohol levels (breathalyzer results)
the Consumer Price Index (inflation)
decibels and frequencies (audio levels and range of hearing)
carats (sizes of gems and purity of gold)
the Richter scale (earthquakes)
toxicities (levels at which substances become harmful)
the Trauzl test (the strength of explosive materials)
and the Torino scale (the impact of asteroids and comets).