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Bill1939's avatar

Is 5.39 x 10^44 times 3.10 x 10^6 times 1.375 x 10^13 equal to 2.297 x 10^64?

Asked by Bill1939 (6070 points ) June 30th, 2012

If a moment is the shortest possible length of time, it would be approximately equal to 5.39×10^-44 seconds. A second would contain 5.39×10^44 moments. A year has about 31,557,600 seconds (on average) and the universe is believed to be about 13.75 billion years old. Therefore, 2.297×10^64 moments would have passed since the Big Bang begun. Is my arithmetic correct?

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18 Answers

flutherother's avatar

The arithmetic in your question seems correct but 3.10×10^6 is 3,100,000 not 31,000,000. It should be 3.10×10^7.

dabbler's avatar

“A moment…equal to 5.39×10^-44 seconds”
Did not know that… How is the word “moment” attached to the shortest possible length of time? At least in common usage it’s depends on the context what people mean by moment.

The smallest unit of time possible is, as you note, 5.39×10^-44 sec, a.k.a. Planck Time.

Bill1939's avatar

Thanks for catching the error @flutherother.

@dabbler, in imagining creation I thought that a Planck Time would be a convenient measure of a moment. I envisioned a sphere emerging from a singularity, and the shortest length of time it would take would be the first moment of creation. The second and subsequent moments would be a shell one Planck Length thick expanding incrementally in fixed intervals.

mattbrowne's avatar

The term moment refers to the subjective experience of human brains. If Planck time defined our processing capability, our brain would run at 18 Sortahertz, that’s 18000000000000000000000000000000000 Gigahertz

Well, neurons typically operate at a maximum rate of about 100 Hz

Bill1939's avatar

The term moment has been used in contexts other than subjective experiences, and I feel that my usage is not inappropriate, @mattbrowne. I would be interested in knowing how you concluded that 1.8×10^43 would be the measure at which one’s brain would have to operate at, given that Planck Time = 5.39×10^-44?

zenvelo's avatar

I was taught as a child that a moment was two seconds. So a year has 15,768,000 moments * 13.75 Billion years =21.681×10^17. (I may be off by a decimal point).

But that is some momentous multiplication….

Bill1939's avatar

It would seem, like so many words we use, that ‘moment’ has multiple meanings. My dictionary’s first definition is “A brief, indefinite interval of time.”

flutherother's avatar

A philosophical question: if time is divided up into discrete ‘moments’ of time in which nothing can happen how does the world get from one moment to the next?

Bill1939's avatar

@flutherother, are you asking how can moments occur discreetly? I image it to be the same reason that electrons orbit nuclei at fixed intervals. Moments are like the individual frames of a movie. Because they pass by at the speed of light, while they seem continuous, instead they are contiguous.

I visualize a moment as being an expanding shell one Plank Length thick, with before being on the inside face and after on the outside face. The shell’s content is Reality. Each moment is a Now. Each moment is a cosmic tick.

dabbler's avatar

@flutherother I think change is necessary for a moment to follow another. It’s what defines a moment compared to the last, something is different. If there is no change then it’s the same moment. @Bill1939 that could be just it, time dimension expanding one plank thickness.
@mattbrowne Is 18 Sortahertz where you almost have some pain ?

zenvelo's avatar

By the way a leap second is being added tonight, so there’ll be an extra moment at 11:59:60 before it is Midnight.

Bill1939's avatar

@dabbler, each moment forces change in every aspect of the moment. A moment is different from the previous moment, and the subsequent moment will be different from it. Until there is nothing in the universe to change, there will always be change. In my conception it is the added volume of each moment’s shell that creates a differentiating force on its contents. However, I digress.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Bill1939 – Frequency = 1 divided by time. Did I miscalculate?

mattbrowne's avatar

@dabbler – Yes, the SI prefixes are so mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta, yotta, xona, weka, vunda, uda, treda, sorta cool. They really sound rinta, quexa, pepta, ocha, nena, minga lumatic.

Bill1939's avatar

You were correct, @mattbrowne. One cycle divided by time in seconds = 1/5.39×10^-44 = 1.855×10^43. I forgot to take the reciprocal.

Incoherency_'s avatar

Do your own homework. ;-p

flutherother's avatar

For change to be possible each moment must differ from the previous moment but if each moment is too brief to allow any change then how can change occur?

Bill1939's avatar

@Incoherency, for a man of 72 who received a bachelor of arts degree in 1969, asking for a little help in thinking things through seems reasonable. I appreciate the opportunity that Fluther affords to test my gray matter’s functioning.

@flutherother, I think that at the quantum level change is continuous. An electron’s position in its orbital about a nucleus is not likely to be the same from one Planck Time to the next, for example.

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