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**10^122**

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**JaneFairfax****Member**- Registered: 2007-02-23
- Posts: 6,868

The secret of the Universe is not 42, according to a new theory, but the unimaginably larger number 10[sup]122[/sup]. Scott Funkhouser of the Military College of South Carolina (called The Citadel) in Charleston has shown how this number which is bigger than the number of particles in the Universe keeps popping up when several of the physical constants and parameters of the Universe are combined1. This coincidence, he says, is surely significant, hinting at some common principle at work behind the scenes.

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,696

Very cool indeed.

Perhaps that is the available memory space of the computer which runs the universe

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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**Daniel123****Member**- Registered: 2007-05-23
- Posts: 663

Very interesting.

Out of interest, how did scientists come up with a number for the amount of particles in the Universe?

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**JaneFairfax****Member**- Registered: 2007-02-23
- Posts: 6,868

It is amazing, indeed. 10[sup]122[/sup] a number even greater than the googol.

By the way, the article says that the ratio of the electrostatic force of attraction between a proton and an electron to their gravitational force is about 10[sup]40[/sup]. Its actually 2.3×10[sup]39[/sup] (http://z8.invisionfree.com/DYK/index.php?showtopic=415).

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**Identity****Member**- Registered: 2007-04-18
- Posts: 934

MathsIsFun wrote:

Very cool indeed.

Perhaps that is the available memory space of the computer which runs the universe

Lol Nice thought, I've been wondering for a while if we're living inside a computer. It wouldn't make a difference to us though, because one's world is defined by the input one receives... that is, as long as the computer doesn't crash.

I wonder if the computer programmers live in the 4th spatial dimension. Perhaps our computer programs run in a lower dimension to us.

I think the coolest thing about this idea is that if you have data that describes a human, you can take it from the computer simulation and put it into a robot, thus changing the input and output of the data and creating a human in the 'real' world. Therefore, if our universe is a computer program, we could hypothetically have our data taken out and put in a robot, hence moving into the 4th spatial dimension (4th dimension is another assumption by me, but it sounds cool yeah). And if we are nested in a series of computer simulations, we could keep going at this process until we reach the real universe! (but the bad thing about this is we would never know if our current universe is nested inside another).

*Last edited by Identity (2008-03-01 18:21:09)*

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**Ricky****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-12-04
- Posts: 3,791

I wonder if the computer programmers live in the 4th spatial dimension.

We live in *at least* the 4th dimension.

"In the real world, this would be a problem. But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist. So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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**Identity****Member**- Registered: 2007-04-18
- Posts: 934

Ok well the nth dimension + 1

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**Monox D. I-Fly****Member**- From: Indonesia
- Registered: 2015-12-02
- Posts: 2,000

Ricky wrote:

I wonder if the computer programmers live in the 4th spatial dimension.

We live in

at leastthe 4th dimension.

How?

Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away.

May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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**ganesh****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-06-28
- Posts: 31,412

Daniel123 wrote:

Very interesting.

Out of interest, how did scientists come up with a number for the amount of particles in the Universe?

If we talk of atoms then we can say that it is estimated that the there are between

to atoms.Else we can also state that :-

The answer to the question depends on what is meant by the universe. The standard cosmological model is that the universe is infinite. The only way the universe could be finite if it has a constant positive curvature, but the current measurement of the curvature implies that the universe is flat and therefore infinite.

However, the observable universe is finite. The observable universe is the part of the universe that we can see - and since the universe is only 13.7 billion years old, we can only see photons that reach us in less than 13.7 billion years. Therefore the observable universe is defined as only the parts of the universe that are within 13.7 billion light years of us.

The commonly accepted answer for the number of particles in the observable universe is

. This number would include the total of the number of protons, neutrons, neutrinos and electrons.Now most of the photons in our universe are the photons from the cosmic microwave background radiation and it is estimated that there are

photons for every particle in the universe so that would make photons in the universe.Until we know what the dark matter particle is, we cannot make an accurate estimate of the number of dark matter particles. We do know that the total mass of the dark matter is about 6 times the mass of the particles in the universe. Currently, the favored theoretical candidate for the dark matter particle is the WIMP - the weakly interacting massive particle. These particles are assumed to be much heavier (x100?) than a proton, so if this is the dark matter particle then it would not significantly increase the number of particles in the universe. On the other hand, if the dark matter particle is the axion, it may be 1/1000th the mass of a proton (or less) so it could push up the particle count by several powers of 10.

We know even less about the dark energy in the universe, but the leading estimate is that it is "just" a small constant vacuum energy density. If the dark energy is just vacuum energy, then that would not increase the particle count for the universe.

*Therefore the observable universe is defined as only the parts of the universe that are within 13.7 billion light years of us. The commonly accepted answer for the number of particles in the observable universe is *

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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