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Loose rivets
9th Dec 2014, 00:41
. . . but a thought to bring on sleep.


We talk glibly of a terabyte of data. Heck, why not have a three terabyte for ten bucks more is the attitude to such numbers now. However, folk really do lose appreciation of the magnitudes when thinking of these numbers. Now for a thought experiment.

If you got a load of fag papers and laid them one on top of the other until you'd got a pile a trillion deep. How high would that pile be?

What I'd like you to do is be sporting and first take a quick guess the answer and then do sums if you like, but declare your guess. It really does put a trillion bucks - or indeed pounds - into perspective, though they'd be rather thicker. Why, you could even recount it with dollar thicknesses.

finfly1
9th Dec 2014, 00:47
Have often done these kinds of word problems, though with lesser numbers. One envisioned a room full of one hundred people eating a burger every minute non-stop. I seem to remember that they would needed to have begun their feast before Jesus was born in order to consume the number McD claimed to have sold.

UniFoxOs
9th Dec 2014, 08:35
Quick guess of a few miles, proved wrong by a quick calculation, assuming paper 20 microns thick (Standard Rizla) and a trillion = 1 followed by 18 zeros.

MagnusP
9th Dec 2014, 08:45
I no longer talk of a terabyte of data, as my data disk went TU last week. :sad:

Oh, and "how high" depends on whether you use tobacco or something more, eh, herbal in the papers. HTH.

boguing
9th Dec 2014, 10:31
20,000 Kilometers, roughly. Halfway round the world.

If you drove that, how deep would the petrol that you used be on the ground floor of your current house?

MagnusP
9th Dec 2014, 10:41
UniFoxOs, the UK and US are "short-scale" countries, so it's 10^12 rather than 10^18. Boguing has it.

UniFoxOs
9th Dec 2014, 12:18
OK, I'm obviously out of touch with these figures. As an engineer I'd tend to use "to the power of" to make something clear.

rgbrock1
9th Dec 2014, 13:04
After reading this thread I now have a massive headache. Thanks Loose. :E

tony draper
9th Dec 2014, 13:17
A picture is worth a thousand words,eleven trillion dollars in one hundred dollar bills,note human figure lower left.:uhoh:
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a194/Deaddogbay/Deaddogbay002/pallet_x_10000_x_11_zps7b7e3982.jpg (http://s11.photobucket.com/user/Deaddogbay/media/Deaddogbay002/pallet_x_10000_x_11_zps7b7e3982.jpg.html)

reynoldsno1
9th Dec 2014, 22:47
That's a really, really big upside down swimming pool, probably the same size as all the Olympic swimming pools ever combined into one really, really big swimming pool, that is ....

Capot
9th Dec 2014, 23:04
When the UK Government first bailed out some banks, back in 2008 (?) the astronomical figure of 26 billion was being mentioned.

To get it into perspective, I calculated that if you flew in a mythical B747 around the world without stopping, round and round and round, dropping a 10 note every second you would do that for 82.45 years before you dropped all the 26bn.

That represented the enormity of the amount that the banks had lost, due to the ineptitude and criminality of their managements. Now, we are numb to figures of 10X that being lost by the same idiots.

Ascend Charlie
10th Dec 2014, 07:09
You wanna puzzle your brain, try this one:

You lay a very long piece of string completely around the earth, touching the surface, and making a full loop.

Now you decide you want it to be 2" above the surface. How much extra string do you need to insert??

a.1 foot
b. 1 mile
c. 3.4142 miles
d. 22.3 miles, assuming this was at the equator

John Hill
10th Dec 2014, 07:17
None of the above...but a. is very close.

Loose rivets
10th Dec 2014, 12:18
a - ish


Now I'll make the message too long to satisfy some computer in the bowels of Internet Brands HQ

Fox3WheresMyBanana
10th Dec 2014, 12:56
12 9/16", but you'd need more to put the knots in :ok:
I'll say (d), since you're paying.

Espada III
10th Dec 2014, 17:40
Circumference of the earth is 24,000 miles. Therefore the radius is 2(pi)r so r = 3819.72 miles = over two hundred and forty two million inches. increasing the radius by 2 inches should add 0.0002 of a mile to the string which equals 12.76 inches.

rgbrock1
10th Dec 2014, 17:44
Espada wrote:

Circumference of the earth is 24,000 miles. Therefore the radius is 2(pi)r so r = 3819.72 miles = over two hundred and forty two million inches. increasing the radius by 2 inches should add 0.0002 of a mile to the string which equals 12.76 inches.

And my response to this?

http://www.ppcgeeks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/lib-head-explode.jpg

Ascend Charlie
10th Dec 2014, 19:45
Simpler to say:
Circumference = 2.Pi . Radius
The differential change is:

dC= 2.Pi.dR,
so if the change in radius is 2", the change in circumference (dC) is 2" times 2 Pi, or about a foot.

Gordy
10th Dec 2014, 19:58
These types of questions are used by Google in their interviews:

Are you smart enough to work at Google

Some Google Questions (http://www.businessinsider.com/15-google-interview-questions-that-used-to-make-geniuses-feel-dumb-2012-11?op=1)

Just a spotter
10th Dec 2014, 20:13
If you got a load of fag papers and laid them one on top of the other until you'd got a pile a trillion deep. How high would that pile be?

That would depend on whether you were using the (accurate) European trillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) or the (makeyuppie) US trillion (1,000,000,000,000), which is really a European billion. When did we all agree to move to "the short system" to make our national debts sound bigger?

;)

JAS

Gordy
10th Dec 2014, 22:15
JAS:

Not so fast..... In 1975 Chancellor Denis Healey announced that the treasury would adopt the US billion thenceforth.

ShyTorque
10th Dec 2014, 22:36
Ascend; that's the mathematical answer. The practical answer is, just pull the same length of string a bit harder and it would easily stretch to take up the difference.