Junior Ganymede
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Physical, not Transcendental, Constant but Approximate

February 07th, 2017 by John Mansfield

If I were a lawyer working in Phoenix with mostly Spanish-speaking clients, I would try to get for my office the phone number 602-214-0857, though any number in the range from 0783 to 0931 would be close enough. And I’d have a 1 kilogram silicon sphere on my desk, and somewhere where everyone could see it, a 22.4 liter bottle of gas (any gas, ideally). The thought of it makes me want to order a burrito at Chipotle and say “yes” when asked if I want to pay extra.

So, who does have that number?

Comments (11)
Filed under: We transcend your bourgeois categories | No Tag
No Tag
February 07th, 2017 14:35:58
11 comments

bobdaduck
February 7, 2017

I am going to memorize this so that I can just recite it whenever conversation stalls out on a date.


John Mansfield
February 7, 2017

Annotations:

The Spanish word for lawyer is abogado.

A physical constant linking mass to the atomic scale is Avogadro’s number, defined as the number of carbon-12 atoms that collectively have a mass of 12 grams. The standard value for that number is 6.022140857×1023 plus or minus 74 in those last two digits.

A current project to more precisely determine Avogadro’s number involves the creation of incredibly precisely machined 1 kg silicon sphers.

22.4 liters is the volume occupied at standard temperature and pressure by one mole of an ideal gas. The number of molecules in one mole is Avogadro’s number.

At the Chipotle chain of burrito restaurants one option costs extra, guacamole, which is mainly made of avocados.


John Mansfield
February 7, 2017

That 1023 should be “10 to the 23rd power,” but the sup tag didn’t work.


G.
February 8, 2017

Thanks for explaining. I was puzzled over the Spanish lawyer in Phoenix part. I was thinking, “huh, I though Avogadro was an Italian name for some reason, is there some Immigration lawyer in Phoenix who advertises enough I should know about him with that name?”

Basically, the world would be a better place if more people spent more time thinking up nerd jokes like this.


G.
February 8, 2017

My oldest made my wife an apron for Christmas. It says. “You matter. Multiplied by the speed of light squared, you energy.”


John Mansfield
February 8, 2017

Thank her for me. I’ll find some chance to use that one soon.


Bookslinger
February 8, 2017

Well, it also depends on what your definition of a “gram” is. Those electrons have mass too, ya know. And a mole of them start to add up.

And it also depends on what your definition of standard temperature and pressure is. That has changed since I graduated high school. And it also depends on whether you are talking to a chemist or a petroleum engineer.

Nerd kids must also needs be aware of
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_Day

At first I thought the Chipotle reference was to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_(sauce)


John Mansfield
February 8, 2017

You’re right. Along with the near homophones Avogadro/abogado/avocado, I should have done something with the mole homonyms. And much thanks for the picture of himself that naked rat helpfully provided.


Mr. Rat
February 8, 2017

naked rat
February 8, 2017

That’s a striking picture of what my child looked like at birth

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