Thursday, September 2, 2010

better than metric. planck measuring system

The nature of reality at the Planck scale is the subject of much debate in the world of physics, as it relates to a surprisingly broad range of topics. It may, in fact, be a fundamental aspect of the universe. In terms of size, the Planck scale is unimaginably small (many orders of magnitude smaller than a proton). In terms of energy, it is unimaginably 'hot' and energetic. The wavelength of a photon (and therefore its size) decreases as its frequency or energy increases. The fundamental limit for a photon's energy is the Planck energy, for the reasons cited above


D: I speak facetiously, but this'd be our best bet for a unit system compatible with advanced aliens.

Planck units are often semi-humorously referred to by physicists as God's units. They eliminate anthropocentric arbitrariness from the system of units: some physicists argue that communication with extraterrestrial intelligence would have to use such a system of units to make common reference to scale. Unlike the meter and second, which exist as fundamental units in the SI system for historical reasons (in human history), the Planck length and Planck time are conceptually linked at a fundamental physical level.

Planck length Length (L) l_\text{P} = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar G}{c^3}} 1.616 252(81) × 10−35 m
Planck mass Mass (M) m_\text{P} = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar c}{G}} 2.176 44(11) × 10−8 kg
Planck time Time (T) t_\text{P} = \frac{l_\text{P}}{c} = \frac{\hbar}{m_\text{P}c^2} = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar G}{c^5}} 5.391 24(27) × 10−44 s
Planck charge Electric charge (Q) q_\text{P} = \sqrt{4 \pi \varepsilon_0 \hbar c} 1.875 545 870(47) × 10−18 C
Planck temperature Temperature (Θ) T_\text{P} = \frac{m_\text{P} c^2}{k_B} = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar c^5}{G k_B^2}} 1.416 785(71) × 1032 K


This would be as provocative as switching to a decimal-based time system from our present sexagesimal one.

Decimal time was introduced as part of the French Republican Calendar, which, in addition to decimally dividing the day, divided the month into three décades of 10 days each; this calendar was abolished at the end of 1805. The start of each year was determined according to which day the autumnal equinox occurred, in relation to true or apparent solar time at the Paris Observatory. Decimal time would also have been reckoned according to apparent solar time, depending on the location it was observed, as was already the practice generally for the setting of clocks.

The French made another attempt at the decimalization of time in 1897, when the Commission de décimalisation du temps was created by the Bureau des Longitudes, with the mathematician Henri Poincaré as secretary. The commission proposed a compromise of retaining the 24-hour day, but dividing each hour into 100 decimal minutes, and each minute into 100 seconds. The plan did not gain acceptance and was abandoned in 1900.

D: it failed for the simple reason that folks got one day of rest per 10 not 7 days!

However, switching to a perpetual 3 day weekend today would mitigate this.


There are exactly 86,400 standard seconds (see SI for the current definition of the standard second) in a standard day, but in the French decimal time system there are 100,000 decimal seconds in the day, so the decimal second is shorter than its counterpart.
Decimal unit Seconds Minutes Hours h:mm:ss
Decimal second 0.864 0.0144 0.00024 0:00:00.9
Decimal minute 86.4 1.44 0.024 0:01:26.4
Decimal hour 8,640 144 2.4 2:24:00.0

D: Joseph Campbell, my spiritual guru, pointed out the mystical significance of the old time system #s.

In Joseph Campbell's, The Inner Reaches Of Outer Space, he writes about the similarity between the Babylonian and Genesis flood stories. In the Babylonian or Sumerian story, there were ten kings who lived very long lives from creation to the time of the flood. This is given as a total of 432,000 years.

In the Biblical account, there were ten patriarchs between Adam and Noah, who also lived long lives. Noah was 600 years old at the time of the landing of the Ark on the mountains of Ararat (in present day Turkey). The total years add up to 1,656.

In 1,656 years, there are 86,400 weeks, and half that number is 43,200. There are myths about cycles in time, and out of time, so this doubling/halving is not uncommon. He believed that someone carefully gave the age of Noah to secretly hide the time cycle number.

He points out a number of other strange things about the numbers. Viking eddas were found in Iceland that told the story of the Day of Ragnorook, the Doomsday of the Gods. At that time, 800 Divine Warriors will come out of each of the 540 Doors of Valhalla (800 x 540 = 432,000).

The number can be found in an internal clock in the body, as well as in the Cosmos. A trained athlete's heart beats one time each second. In a 24 hour day, that is 86,400 beats.

The earth's axis wobble that causes the precession of the equinoxes is given as 25,920 years. Divided by the ancient number called "soss," 60, which was used in calculations, results in 432.

A manufacturer of golf balls once did a test to find the ideal number of dimples to put on golf balls. It turned out that balls with 432 dimples went farther than the rest.

D: neat!

D: about that heart rate thing... not really.
Lance Armstrong rests at 32 beats per minute.
Mine was so low after 2 cups of coffee that my partner in CPR class thought there was something wrong with me. 60-80 is normal and mine was 50 at that point!
I joke we need 'decimal seconds' to reflect our heart beats on our coffee.

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