A Conversation for Natural Units

Natural Units

Post 1

The Cow

Yeah, maybe. But it's a damn sight harder when everything needs conversion factors: thank god for the nice easy compound units.
The names for compound units can be stupid.
It seems you need to be some really obsure scientist [Bequerel] to get it named after you. What would 1 Einstein be? What -should- it be?
kgm^2? [from E=mc^2]


Natural Units

Post 2

Orcus

I say measure length in cubits. Mass in hundredweight and time in lunar months. This should annoy the French intensely! smiley - winkeye


Natural Units

Post 3

SetupWeasel

"My car gets 30 rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I like it."

-- Grandpa Simpson


Natural Units

Post 4

The Cow

There is the F-F-F system

Time: Fortnight
Length: Furlong
and I can't remember the other one.
Couple this with SI prefixes, and you have an interesting setup...


Natural Units

Post 5

uq598

Natural units are generally a good idea. The best example is setting the speed of light, c, to be 1, ansd then measuring other speeds as a fraction of the speed of light. It's not much use in everyday life, but it does make Relativity easier to do. Similar things happen in electromagnetism.

Of course there are problems. Some clever physicists noticed that factors of Pi frequently occur in physics, and thought "oh, wouldn't it be nice to get rid of them by setting 2 Pi=1". Yes, some people really do this.


Natural Units

Post 6

Orcus

Did you ever hear about the state in America (last century I think) where they decided to redefine Pi as 4 to make the maths easier. Hmmmm.


Natural Units

Post 7

SetupWeasel

It was Kentucky, and legislation is in effect (i believe) to make pi=3 in public schools. I believe it is rather recent.


Natural Units

Post 8

TOAO 77144

I can't stop thinking about all those oddly-shaped circles floating (erratically) around Kentucky.


Natural Units

Post 9

Knight Errant

In so much as this is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diamter, I would suppose that this effectively outlaws the formation of a complete circle in Kentucky. All arcs exceeding 95% of full circlehood must be returned to the Department of Curvature for reassignment.


Natural Units

Post 10

TOAO 77144

Reassignment as what, I wonder? As incomplete geometric figures, they are very likely subject to all sorts of discrimination as well, from more fortunate rectangles, for instance.


Natural Units

Post 11

Knight Errant

Actually, reassignment is based on the arc exceeding 95% of completeness. According to the Kentucky Department of Curvature's guidelines, Section 1 1/3, paragraph 3.141592... (remainder left out for brevity), I quote:

"All arcs 3/PI % completeness will be remanded for immediate de-arcing and reassignment at the discretion of the Integral Police."


Natural Units

Post 12

TOAO 77144

Of course, I should not have said 'incomplete' but, rather, 'aberrant'. Aberrant...ab errant....Ab Errant...I say! What was your father's name, and where were you born?


Fractal dimension

Post 13

Cyanblue

It's quite okay for pi to be 3, if you don't mind having to play with the shape of space. If you want to keep Euclidean geometry, though, I think you would have to re-define every other number, knowing that in doing so you could never know exactly what all but a few were in decimal notation. On the bright side, it would employ lots of mathematicians, and hence make a lot of ppl very happy. smiley - smiley


Fractal dimension

Post 14

Knight Errant

This, of course, explains why the Guidelines for the Department of Curvature never extend beyond e. Although they are planning an Addendum using ln, but critics decry it as an attempt to undo things. I say just integrate the whole thing and be done with it. After all, there are limits and if we let this go on forever...well, we know where that leaves us, don't we. Of course there will be derivatives of this work. But enough hyperbole, or is that an asymptote?

P.S. For a brief discussion of fractals and food, check out the discussion on Crumbs.


Limits

Post 15

Cyanblue

Einstein once said "Only 2 things are infinite. The Universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former". Or something to that effect. Does this mean that as x approaches o, 1/x approaches human stupidity?


Time

Post 16

Wes

You People have way to much time on your hands why don't you do something usefull and find a cure for cancer who cares about Pi and kentucy the only thing they are good for is apple pi and Kentucy Fried Chikcen so why don't you talk about that!!!


Fractal dimension

Post 17

Sorcerer

Talking about not knowing what the numbers are, I proved in Speed of Light (http://www.h2g2.com/forumframe.cgi?thread=19029&forum=19585#p142098) that 0=1. Using this, we can prove that any two given numbers are equal.


Infinity

Post 18

Cyanblue

It is also true that there are at least 2 different and distinct infinities, aleph 0 and aleph 1. And it is easily proven that one is bigger than the other.


Infinity

Post 19

SetupWeasel

There are an infinite number of infinities.

Case in point: if you take the limit of something as x approaches infinity and you end up haveing to subtract infinity minus infinity, you have to find a different way to do it, because it is sometimes not zero or infinity. It could be like 5. so you can have one infinity equaling another infinity plus 5. Which everyone told you since grade school doesn't make sense. Even if you take this to mathmaticians, they will probably tell you that the concept of infinity plus 5 makes no sense, because "infinity is not a number." Then they'll go off and tell you that you can stick infinity in for a variable when you need to.

What we need is a notation that differentiates between different infinities. 2 times infinity makes sense if you think of it as a different rate of accumulation. Take one apple every second ad infinitum, call that infinity. Now take 2 apples every second ad infinitum. Why can't that be called 2 times infinity. If you would take the limit of the latter over the former you would get 2.

I hate math


Infinity

Post 20

Cyanblue

Infinity + 5 = infinity, and the same kind of infinity. I think much confusion would be avoided if we used limits more often.


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