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Walter

Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 143
Walter
From the book:

aha! Gotcha (Martin Gardner)

a favorite article.

29 Mar 2014, 22:16
tthsqe

Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 724
tthsqe
is this a joke? If you consider that the stick is about the length of a human arm and that atoms are about 200pm, you can only encode about 5 billion different numbers. ???
29 Mar 2014, 22:31
typedef

Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 2913
Location: 0x77760000
typedef
Amazing indeed. I'd love to see this in real life though. Very interesting
29 Mar 2014, 22:32
neville

Joined: 13 Jul 2008
Posts: 507
Location: New Zealand
neville
Very Un-amazing!

The mark on the rod would have to be vanishingly thin to be positioned with sufficient accuracy, and the length measurements would have to be accurate to a number of digits roughly equal to 3 times the total number of characters in the entire encyclopedia!

And why use a relatively inefficient decimal coding system? Even if the inhabitants of Helix happen to have 10 fingers
Even good old Extended ASCII is a base 256 code, while Unicode can be base 65536.

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30 Mar 2014, 06:15
revolution
When all else fails, read the source

Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17247
revolution
You could also code the information on a single hydrogen atom. An exercise for the reader: figure out how to encode an arbitrary amount of information in a single atom.
30 Mar 2014, 11:58
cod3b453

Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 619
cod3b453
This very much depends on the data but in reality this will be the worst case where the encyclopedia is co-prime [or shares few large factors-] with the base and so 2n+1 symbols are needed for n symbols of data.

Even so, taking the set of symbols as 1000 and measurement as being atom-level, the number of atoms required would be 1000(2n+1). Assuming a carbon rod, a length of 1m would be about 1/70x10^-12=1.4x10^10 atoms so about 7x10^6 symbols of data could be encoded this way.

With 300m symbols for the whole encyclopedia that's about a 50m rod but as the problem is mass, it does deliver because it is much lighter than the printed book.
31 Mar 2014, 13:43
sleepsleep

Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 8864
Location: ˛　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣Posts: 334455
sleepsleep
is that the basis of all information is 0 and 1, and there wouldn't be another kinda of most basic information structure?
31 Mar 2014, 14:32
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