Sunday, November 19, 2006

Prime time

I've been looking at some big numbers today, after my latest crude attempt to calculate the hypervolume of cosmic history in Planck units. This seems to me to be the biggest number that could have any actual physical significance (as distinct from statistics or pure number theory) - but that's for me to claim and you to dispute. It's a 243-digit number, and probably begins with a 7. I want to post something on this later, because I've got this slightly crazed idea that people should know these things, and after much Googling I still haven't yet found anyone who's worked it out and shared it.

Meanwhile, here's a much bigger number than that, with (surely) no physical significance at all. Someone has actually written down the largest known prime number in words. How silly?

If I ever get round to part 2 of the cube story, which will deal with altogether vaster numerical realms, I'll try and put this into perspective.

But that will have to wait.
Maybe a very, very long time...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Desiccation, thy name is Oatibix!

I have discovered the driest substance in the known universe.

Just one Oatibix, weighing less than 24g, will soak up seventeen gallons of liquid without any loss of dryness at the core. My team's careful analysis has revealed a chance distribution of oaty complexes, each clustered around a central atom of praseodymium-141, creating a six-dimensional vortex that traps water molecules and spins them off in a fine hyperconical stream directly towards the Beyond.

I have filed a patent and look forward to a lucrative contract with NASA to test and develop their manifold potential uses. In the meantime, I'm crossing my fingers that it's safe to use them to line the shed.

And if you were to eat one dry - let me not think on't. All that they'd find of you would be a fine powder, with small patches of beige sludge.
And perhaps your teeth.

Hard to be precise at this stage, as I say, without further research.