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Science can help you with passwords

I'm not much of a security geek. I mean, I do keep my Internet
passwords (those for email, various websites, etc...) only in my mind,
not in hard nor soft copy. The problem with my passwords however is
that they may either be too simple and easily hacked or so complicated
that I will most probably actually forget it in a week or so. But then
I got a brainstorm: why not ask science to help me out a bit with my
passwords. Here is a list of five words that only a science geek
mastermind will be able to break.

1. Deoxyribonucleic acid
Why it is a good password: Many characters and a space as well.
What it means: It's the DNA molecule. You know, the one present
in all living organisms. It is a carrier of genetic information.

2. Phenolphthalein
Why it is a good password: Many characters and so hard to spell!
What it means: It is a dye used as an acid-base indicator. In
alkaline environment, it is red while in the acidic one, it is
colourless. In a more or less neutral environment, it is pale pink.
Take note.

3. F=(GMm)/r2
Why it is a good password: Block letters, maths symbol,
seemingly random order...
What it means: Newton's law of gravitation states that there is
a force of attraction between any two massive particles in the
universe. The point masses are "m" and "M" while the distance
separating them is "r."

4. 3.141592
Why it is a good password: Honestly – who cares about pi?
What it means: This is pi, correct to seven significant
figures. You know, the ratio of any circle's circumference to its

5. Monosaccharide
Why it is a good password: Is it one "c" or two?
What it means: Glucose is an example of a monosaccharide.
Sometimes referred to as simple sugars, monosaccharides cannot be
split into smaller units by action of dilute acids. In other words,
they are like the most basic sugars.

And suddenly passwords seem so much more easy to remember. But so
much more complex as well. Maybe I should just drop that idea. Or

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons

Khalil A. Cassimally, that's me, can be reached by dropping an email
at [email protected]. Alternatively you
can IM him via MSN/Windows Messenger or Google Talk, using this same
email address. You may also visit his blog if you wish.

Other science issues (not too complicated don't you worry)
can be found at:


Not Scientific Science


06.04.06 Front Page

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