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Fri 21 Apr, 2017 06:26 pm

The unimaginable vastness of the universe.

Author Alan McDougall.

The distances in space are unimaginably vast beyond human comprehension. If I try, tell an uninformed that it is so many kilometers to the Sun or moon, will these people be able to comprehend these vast unbelievable distances.

The moon and sun are a mere two light seconds and eight light minutes respectively from the earth. Light travels at 300 000 kilometers a second or seven times around the earth in the same time.

The moon is a mere 400 00 kilometers and the sun about 156 million kilometers from the earth respectively, next-door neighbors in fact. Even this is near distance on cosmological scale is almost impossible for anyone to truly comprehend.

What about our nearest neighbors Centauri only 4.2 light years away and the next nearest star to the sun. Just around the corner on the vast cosmological scale.

It helps if one understands that the fastest object ever made by man “(spacecraft voyager at 100 000 kilometers per hour)” would take 80,000 years to get there. Then if you understand how amazingly fast that object actually goes one might begin to gleaning some understanding of how far away Alpha Centauri is. Moreover, Centauri is our next-door neighbour!

Then we can move further. Let us say, Epsilon Eridani, 10 light years away. That is over twice as far - Voyager would take close to 200,000 years to get there.

All evidence of human civilization would be pretty much gone in a few thousand years, given an average society lifespan of about 1000 years or less, we’re talking 200 societies coming and going before Voyager makes it to Epsilon Eridani. Moreover, Epsilon Eridani is right next door.

The nearest Galaxy is Andromeda

The Andromeda galaxy, the galaxy nearest to our own milky-way galaxy is mere two million light years away. Voyager would take forty thousand billion years (40,000,000,000,000) to get there. That is over 3300 times longer than the current postulated age of the universe, and that's our nearest galactic neighbor.

There are galaxies that are estimated to be 12 billion light years from earth and the strange objects called quasars even further at 14 billion light years. To reach far galaxies like these unimaginable remote objects, with a Voyager like spacecraft, would take almost an eternity and it is obvious that this cannot be the ultimate method of crossing the universe.

I foresee instant teleportation or some type of mind contact means as the method used by advanced humanity communicating across the vastness of the universe in the very distant future. To explore the universe by means of a metal space craft at present seems science fiction impossibility. But in time present perceived impossibilities might become a possibility

"The universe could be a sphere of infinite radius"

By Alan McDougall 15/9/2007

Eternity is a very long time indeed!

Author Alan McDougall

One ‘googol’ year, is how much? It is the current age of the Universe, one billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion times over.

Squeeze the entire history of our Universe into the thickness of a rand note, and one-googol years would give you a pile of money that reaches one hundred quadrillion, quadrillion, quadrillion, quadrillion, light years high. It would not even fit into a universe a billion, billion, billion, and times larger than our own immense universe.

How small fleeting and insignificant we are we are?

One googol year. That’s truly staggering long anything, a human can comprehend. Nevertheless, infinitely small when compared to eternity. If a small bird sharpened its beak on the peak of mount Everest, once every zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion,, zillion, zillion, zillion, zillion ,zillion, google years, When the mountain is completely worn down, the first moment of eternity would not yet have occurred.

The largest number used by humanity is, however the unimaginably large googleplex or below

One google year to the power of a hundred. After even this enormous time has past eternity has still not yet began.

If we want t look at smaller time periods, the fairly long computer time period of pico second is thus; A pico second is what a second is to 32 000 years. Yes thirty two thousand years.

But on the time scale of the internet giant, it is a very long time indeed. Time is thus an allusion relative to the observer. The Plank time Constant is supposedly the smallest discrete measure of time, in which what we call reality and existence could exist in our particular universe.

Quote:The largest number used by humanity is, however the unimaginably large googleplex or below

There is no "largest number". I can take any number you care to mention and add one to it (or any arbitrarily chosen number) and create a new "largest number". Incidentally, if you are interested in the concept of infinity, Georg Cantor's work may interest you. David Hilbert defended it from its critics by declaring: "From his paradise that Cantor with us unfolded, we hold our breath in awe; knowing, we shall not be expelled."

@centrox,

centrox wrote:
Quote:The largest number used by humanity is, however the unimaginably large googleplex or below

There is no "largest number". I can take any number you care to mention and add one to it (or any arbitrarily chosen number) and create a new "largest number". Incidentally, if you are interested in the concept of infinity, Georg Cantor's work may interest you. David Hilbert defended it from its critics by declaring: "From his paradise that Cantor with us unfolded, we hold our breath in awe; knowing, we shall not be expelled."

In fact Google is the largest number used by the scientific community Of course you are right in that there is no such thing as the largest number.

However the largest number ever conceived by humans is"Grahams Number"

"Graham's number"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the large number named after Ronald Graham. For the investing term named after Benjamin Graham, see Graham number.

Graham's number is an unimaginably large number that is a proven upper bound to the solution of a certain problem in Ramsey theory.

It is named after mathematician Ronald Graham who used the number as a simplified explanation of the upper bounds of the problem he was working on in conversations with popular science writer Martin Gardner. Gardner later described the number in Scientific American in 1977, introducing it to the general public.

The number was published in the 1980 Guinness Book of World Records which added to the popular interest in the number.

Graham's number, although smaller than TREE(3), is much larger than many other large numbers such as Skewes' number and Moser's number, both of which are in turn much larger than a googolplex.

Though too large to be computed in full, many of the last digits of Graham's number can be derived through simple algorithms. The last 12 digits are: 262464195387.

Specific integers known to be far larger than Graham's number have since appeared in many serious mathematical proofs, for example in connection with Harvey Friedman's various finite forms of Kruskal's theorem

For the time been lets just accept Grahams number as the largest number used scientifically (MY COMMENT ALAN MCDOUGALL)