Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: BIG NUMBERS #1
Replies: 19   Last Post: Feb 11, 2003 9:59 AM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Daniel Grubb Posts: 526 Registered: 12/10/04
Re: BIG NUMBERS #1
Posted: Apr 9, 2002 12:49 PM

>What I'd really like to do is calculate the probability
>that NO particle or atom with a finite half-life would decay
>during the 15 billion years of our universe's time span. When
>you factor in all those elementary particles whose half-lives
>are on the order of 10^(-24) sec, I imagine this will produce
>produce a super-large-in-its-tinyness number. It might even go
>beyond my current record for something of physical significance,
>the 10^(10^166) count of the number of possible universes in an
>(oversimplified) many-universes framework. Does anyone have a
>suggestion on how to estimate something like this? This would
>be an "alternate history" in which there were no atomic bombs,
>no Carbon-14 dating, no (interesting) cloud chamber results,
>no radioactivity, etc. Of course, it's also very likely that
>there'd be no stars, no people, . . .
>
>Dave L. Renfro

First try:

Do a density calculation of the universe at, say 10^-10 seconds,
get the approximate radius from inflation, use this to estimate
the number of vector bosons (mass around 80GeV), then use the 10^-25
second half-life to estimate your result.

This actually does assume the decay of Higgs particles, as well as some
supersymmetric particles, but it should give an amusing number.

Not much would exist in such a universe--just a mass of undecayed
bosons.

--Dan Grubb

Date Subject Author
4/8/02 Dave L. Renfro
4/8/02 Gerry Myerson
4/9/02 Harry J. Smith
4/9/02 Dik T. Winter
4/8/02 Gerry Myerson
4/9/02 Dave L. Renfro
4/8/02 Doug Magnoli
4/9/02 Rainer Rosenthal
4/9/02 Dave L. Renfro
4/9/02 Daniel Grubb
4/9/02 David C. Ullrich
4/9/02 Dave L. Renfro
4/9/02 Ioannis
4/9/02 don@cmtzone.net
4/9/02 David C. Ullrich
4/10/02 Mikko Haapanen
2/4/03 C. Stevens
2/4/03 C. Stevens
2/5/03 anonymous
2/11/03 anonymous