Is there a googolplex of anything in this universe?

BrianW

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A googolplex is ten to the power of a googol, and a googol is ten to the power of 100. Just to give you an idea of how big a googolplex is, there are not enough protons in the known universe to number a googolplex – and there are a LOT of protons in our universe.
But is there a googolplex of anything? It doesn’t have to be physical – obviously, since even counting subatomic particles won’t get us there. It can be something conceptual, as long as it’s calculable. For example, you may want to count the number of possible unique chess games, the number of times a living cell has divided since the beginning of time, or the number of times Captain Kirk had sex with an alien. (And just so you know, none of these examples, not even that last one, will get you even close to a googolplex. I’m just listing these to get your brain going.)
So how about it? In a universe as vast and as old as ours, is there anything we can count that will be greater than a googolplex?
 

Brian Perry

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I would say there is more than a googolplex of permutations of possible locations of every atom in the universe.
 

MickeS

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I think the tax code contains a googolplex of new regulations each year.

/Mike
 

Nate Anderson

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I would try to comprehend this, but instead I'm going down to the Googoplex to catch a showing on Panic Room. Laters!
 

Bill Slack

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If anything, neutrinos.
Some theories state that the missing 'dark matter' (mass) in the universe is neutrinos because they do have some tiny mass. That would have neutrinos making up ~90% of the mass in the universe, though individually immeasurable, and hardly interact with anything (e.g, they can go directly through the heart of the sun w/o even noticing.)
Therfore, there would have to be a lot of them. A googlplex...? Welp, I dunno. Time to start counting.
 

JoelBdeau

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If you split the year into a googolplex number of time intervals (we can call it a goopol-second) and then calcutate the age of the universe you would have about 13 billion googolplex goopol-seconds that have occured since the beginning of time.
Make sense?
 

JoelBdeau

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The unit of time, the second, was defined originally as the fraction 1/86 400 of the mean solar day. The exact definition of "mean solar day" was left to astronomical theories. However, measurement showed that irregularities in the rotation of the Earth could not be taken into account by the theory and have the effect that this definition does not allow the required accuracy to be achieved. In order to define the unit of time more precisely, the 11th CGPM (1960) adopted a definition given by the International Astronomical Union which was based on the tropical year. Experimental work had, however, already shown that an atomic standard of time-interval, based on a transition between two energy levels of an atom or a molecule, could be realized and reproduced much more precisely. Considering that a very precise definition of the unit of time is indispensable for the International System, the 13th CGPM (1967) decided to replace the definition of the second by the following (affirmed by the CIPM in 1997 that this definition refers to a cesium atom in its ground state at a temperature of 0 K):
So I guess it depends on your time scale.
However you want to measure it
 

JoelBdeau

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Opps I forget the definition of a second:

The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom.
 

RobertR

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quote:

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Is time infinitely divisible?

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Yes.

The reason I asked is that I thought I had read somewhere that a certain extremely brief event at the quantum level (it's a much shorter interval than the cesium atom transition you refer to) represents the shortest possible time period--that time is "lumpy" in that sense. I could be wrong, though.

BTW, I was reading that research is being done into substantially increasing the accuracy of atomic clocks--so much so that they would be off by only two seconds since the Big Bang!
 

John Garcia

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I don't know but there seem to be disproportionately more morons these days than I previously have noticed...particularly while driving.
 

JoelBdeau

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a certain extremely brief event at the quantum level (it's a much shorter interval than the cesium atom transition you refer to) represents the shortest possible time period--that time is "lumpy" in that sense.
This sounds correct but the problem is that we can only measure things that we know about. In fifty years we might discover smaller particles than quarks? and find atomic events that our time scale cannot record accurately. Therefore we make a new unit that matches it's needs. Just like the mass of atoms and measured in u's(unified atomic mass units) and not in kilograms or lbs.

Just my .02
 

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