   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from Laurie, a parent: I have a container that is 471 square inches (length*width) and is 2.3 inches high. I want to cover the bottom with 1/2 inch of split peas, in order to anchor escort cards (place cards) for a wedding. How many pounds of split peas do I need to cover the area to a height of 1/2 inch? Thanks Hi Laurie,

You want to cover 471 square inches with half an inch of split peas so that's $471 \times \large \frac12 \normalsize = 236$ cubic inches. I have no idea how much split peas weigh so I went to my cupboard and weighed 1 cup of split peas. I got very close to half a pound. I then typed 1 cup in cubic inches into the Google search engine and got 1 cup is 14.4375 cubic inches. Thus 236 cubic inches is $\large \frac{236}{14.4375} \normalsize = 16.3$ cups. Hence my calculation gives about 8 pounds of split peas.

I suggest that if you have a kitchen scale you weigh some split peas to see if you get about half a pound per cup.

Penny     Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.