6.67 x 10^-11 – The Number That Defines the Universe.

Episode four of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

Newton’s equation of gravity included a number G, which indicates the strength of gravitation. It took 100 years before the shy Englishman Henry Cavendish (he left notes for his maids because he was too shy to talk to women) measured G to be 6.67 x 10^-11 Nm²/Kg². It allowed him to weigh the Earth itself. There has been an ever-greater desire to measure this number with accuracy, which even implied an antigravity at times. How did we measure this tiny number and what does it mean for the universe? The Astronomer Royal Martin Rees explains that a large value for G would mean that stars would burn too quickly and a low value would mean that the stars would not form in the first place, so is G perfectly tuned for life? Is God a mathematician?

Also huffduffed as…

  1. 6.67 x 10^-11 – The Number That Defines the Universe.

    —Huffduffed by michele on August 20th, 2009

  2. 6.67 x 10^-11 – The Number That Defines the Universe.

    —Huffduffed by eby on August 24th, 2009

  3. 6.67 x 10^-11 – The Number That Defines the Universe.

    —Huffduffed by boxman on September 11th, 2009

  4. 6.67 x 10^-11 – The Number That Defines the Universe.

    —Huffduffed by chrispederick on October 1st, 2009

  5. 6.67 x 10^-11 – The Number That Defines the Universe.

    —Huffduffed by robby on November 22nd, 2011

Possibly related…

  1. 6.67 x 10^-11 – The Number That Defines the Universe.

    Episode four of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    Newton’s equation of gravity included a number G, which indicates the strength of gravitation. It took 100 years before the shy Englishman Henry Cavendish (he left notes for his maids because he was too shy to talk to women) measured G to be 6.67 x 10^-11 Nm²/Kg². It allowed him to weigh the Earth itself. There has been an ever-greater desire to measure this number with accuracy, which even implied an antigravity at times. How did we measure this tiny number and what does it mean for the universe? The Astronomer Royal Martin Rees explains that a large value for G would mean that stars would burn too quickly and a low value would mean that the stars would not form in the first place, so is G perfectly tuned for life? Is God a mathematician?

    —Huffduffed by Torvald one year ago

  2. The Number Four

    Episode one of Another Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    Simon Singh’s journey begins with the number 4, which for over a century has fuelled one of the most elusive problems in mathematics: is it true that any map can be coloured with just 4 colours so that no two neighbouring countries have the same colour? This question has tested some of the most imaginative minds — including Lewis Carroll’s — and the eventual solution has aided the design of some of the world’s most complex air and road networks.

    —Huffduffed by adactio 4 years ago

  3. A Countdown to Zero

    Episode one of Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    What’s 2 minus 2? The answer is obvious, right? But not if you wore a tunic, no socks and lived in Ancient Greece. For strange as it sounds, ‘nothing’ had to be invented, and then it took thousands of years to catch on.

    —Huffduffed by adactio 4 years ago