[R] Off Topic: teenie weenie numbers -- Was: Precision level

Barry Rowlingson b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Fri Mar 26 18:11:55 CET 2010

On Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 4:31 PM, Bert Gunter <gunter.berton at gene.com> wrote:
> Although machine precision (smallest numerical values that can be exactly
> represented) is important for numerical calculations, what is the smallest
> number that anyone has actually seen describing physical phenomena in
> science? I've seen values of ca. 1e-20 or so routinely used in physics on
> both size (e.g quarks) and time scales (lifetimes of evanescent particles).
> Beyond that about the smallest values I've seen are about 1e-40 or so
> seconds in discussions of Big Bang dynamics. Does anyone know of smaller
> ones (and those I've quoted might certainly be off somewhat).

 Hmmm smaller than 1e40... Well, I think I've seen the charge on an
electron given as much, much smaller than that...

> Just curious. Hope this abuse of the list is not too egregious. Ignore if
> you think it is.

 It's Casual Friday.


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