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How to work with Rates of Reaction: Part 2

Bearded man

As you will learn in school, different chemical reactions have different rates of reaction, which you need to know how to measure. But have you heard of these weird,  wonderful, and often very silly ways of measuring things?

  • “Poronkusema” is a unit to measure distance. It’s actually a Finnish word representing the distance a reindeer can walk without stopping to urinate.
  • “Shake” is an informal unit of time used in nuclear physics. It is very short – equal to 10 nanoseconds, deriving from the expression “two shakes of a lamb’s tail”
  • A “barleycorn”, according to legend, is what the Saxons called the length of a grain of barley. Numerically it is equal to 0.8476cm, or 1/3 of an inch, and is actually the basis for UK shoe sizes.
  • A “beard-second” is a measurement of extremely short distances. It is defined as the length an average physicist’s beard grows per second!!
  • A “mickey”, used in a computing context, is the unit for the smallest detectable movement of a mouse.


Luckily measuring rates of reaction is far easier than having to use any of these!

If you are studying GCSE Science, you need to know how to measure rates of reactions . Try our new “How to work with Rates of Reaction: Part 2” guide. Included is an explanation of different ways of measuring the rates.  Questions for you to try, and answers to check your understanding can also be found in the guide.

Click the picture below to see the guide.


Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects. New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

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