One of the smallest units of measurement of time is the Planck time (tP). It is the time required for light to travel, in a vacuum, a distance of one Planck length, approximately 5.39 × 10−44 s. To give you an idea of how small this is, in one second there are more Planck times... Continue Reading →
If math really isn't your thing, it might not take a lot of convincing for you to believe your math teacher was an agent of evil. If you were forced to identify prime numbers long enough, you might actually come up with some reasonable proof to support that proposition. Belphegor's Prime is the name given... Continue Reading →
Want to remember the value of Pi (3.1415926) in easy way? You can do it by counting each word's letters in "May I have a large container of coffee?"
A prime number is divisible only by one and itself. We learn about them in elementary school and recognize them as 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc. As the numbers get larger, the space between primes becomes greater. In January 2016 a mathematician at the University of Central Missouri announced the discovery of the largest... Continue Reading →
If you have a hard time telling the difference between kilometers, meters, and centimeters, you are really going to struggle with nanometers. At one-billionth of a meter, the nanometer is used to measure really small things: A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick A strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter There... Continue Reading →
Put 23 people in a room and there is a statistical probability of 50% that two of them have the same birthday. Increase the number of people to 75, and the odds are 99.9% two of them will celebrate their birth on the same date. Not convinced? See the math here.
When it comes to death, the only real certainty is that we all will face it eventually. As to the manner in which you are likely to leave this world, well, statisticians have chimed in on the likelihood of meeting the following types of death: Shark Attack -- One chance in 300,000,000 -- About 5... Continue Reading →
Hopes were high when the Mars Climate Orbiter launched from Cape Canaveral on December 11, 1998. The robotic space probe was designed to study the climate, atmosphere, and surface changes of Mars and to act as a communications relay for the Mars Polar Lander. For the next ten months, all went according to plan as... Continue Reading →
Photo credit: By Alan Cleaver (Flickr: Shuffling the deck) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons In a deck of 52 cards, there are 80,658,175,170,943,878,571,660,636,856,403,766, 975,289,505,440,883,277,824,000,000,000,000 possible combinations. To give you an idea of how many that is, here is how long it would take to go through every possible permutation of cards. If every star... Continue Reading →
A googol is 10100 or 1, followed by 100 zeroes. In contrast, a googolplex is 10googol or 10(10100) or 1, followed by 10100 zeroes. To write out googolplex, be prepared to invest some time. Also be prepared for some serious deforestation: A book of 400 pages will hold 106 zeros, so you will need... Continue Reading →
While President James Garfield tends to be little more than a footnote in the history of the US presidency because of the short time that he served, he was a truly remarkable man and deserves to be better remembered. Following are a few facts about the 20th President of the United States: Garfield's administration was... Continue Reading →
When he was a child, Blaise Pascal once locked himself in his room for several days and would not allow anyone to enter. When he emerged, he had figured out all of Euclid's geometrical propositions totally on his own. source
In a chess game after three moves by each player, there are over nine million possible configurations for the chess board. Claude Shannon (1916-2001), an American mathematician, calculated the total possible configurations for a chess board at roughly ten tredecillion (1, followed by 43 zeroes). source
Depending on whether a country uses the Long Scale or the Short Scale for its numbering system, 1,000,000,000,000 will always be 1,000,000,000,000, but whether you express that number as one billion or one trillion could vary. The Short Scale is typically used by English-speaking and Arabic-speaking countries, whereas Latin countries and continental Europe tend toward... Continue Reading →