Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words… in Energy?

Ruth Sang Jones


The old adage that a “picture is worth a thousand words” is quantitatively analysed. The average energy used by men and women of Britain for speaking while standing is calculated per minute and the energy consumed per word is estimated. Energy consumption per word is estimated to be 0.0283J and 0.0223J for men and women respectively. The mass-energy equivalence equation is used to convert a physical picture’s mass to energy. This energy value is then converted to words to see if the adage is on the right scale of magnitude, particularly for a picture of size A4. 


Idiom; Physics; Biology; Metabolism; Energy/mass conservation; A picture is worth a thousand words

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