# The best visual description of the size of one billion?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Wexler, Mar 27, 2008.

1. ### scheherazadeNorthern Horse WhispererValued Senior Member

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First lesson in arguing with a woman......

Even when you are technically correct, you will not prevail.

It remains up to you to clarify your meaning, which is ever subject to the interpretation of the viewer.

3. ### PeteIt's not rocket surgeryModerator

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10,166
Think of it as a ratio.

5 buses full of pennies to one penny = a billion to one.

one second to 30 years = a billion to one

A tiny grain of fine sand to a bucket full of sand = a billion to one

5. ### kiraValued Senior Member

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Everybody knows the size of 1 liter of water. 1 liter is 1000 ml.
1 ml is about 20 drops of water from an eye dropper.

How big is 1 billion ml of water?

Now let's think of a swimming pool with the size of a basket ball court (usually about 400 sq meters) and a depth of 2.5 meter. The volume of the swimming pool is 400 x 2.5 = 1000 cubic meter = 1 billion ml.

7. ### Motor Daddy☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼Valued Senior Member

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Again, you are giving a visual of 5 buses full of pennies, not a visual of a billion pennies. You can't even imagine how many pennies are in 1 bus, let alone 5 buses.

When you think of a bus full of pennies, do thoughts of 200 million pennies come to mind?

You can't imagine a billion pennies. If I can't you can't.

8. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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You may be right that no one can actually "imagine" a billion pennies in the same way that we can "see" 5 pennies in our head (without counting them), but Pete is closer to being able to do it than almost anyone on this forum.

9. ### Motor Daddy☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼Valued Senior Member

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Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. How many pennies do you suspect Pete can imagine in his head? How many can you imagine?

10. ### PeteIt's not rocket surgeryModerator

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You can't imagine five buses full of pennies? :bugeye:

I'm sure you can't imagine otherwise.

11. ### Motor Daddy☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼Valued Senior Member

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What color bus? What make and model? What is the volume of the inside of the bus that is available to fill with pennies? Could you stack pennies perfectly in that volume without having unused volume, ie the volume of the bus available for pennies/volume of penny=how many pennies you could fit??? How much wasted space is there? Am I supposed to be imagining how each and every penny is placed in the bus, heads or tails, vertical or horizontal, and the year of each penny? Are they new pennies or corroded pennies?

You're fooling yourself, Pete.

12. ### wlminexBannedBanned

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AlexG . . . .take a break and visit my new thread: The EEMU Hypothesis! Waiting to hear from you!

wlminex

13. ### Big ChillerRegistered Senior Member

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Even when a common light is shed on the topic it is ever subject to the interpretation of an individual?

14. ### scheherazadeNorthern Horse WhispererValued Senior Member

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The common light is perceived somewhat differently by each individual, in my experience. Therein lays much of the frustration of communication.

Even when we seem to be in total agreement, there may be differences in what each party comprehends that the other has understood.

15. ### AlexGLike nailing Jello to a treeValued Senior Member

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4,304
I haven't seen one of those Mac's 'x billion sold' signs in a long long time.

When I was 18, I thought that the best job you could have was as a roving inspector for Mac's. Of course, that was back in 1970, when MacD's was actually quite good.

16. ### Fudge MuffinFudge MuffinRegistered Senior Member

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if everyone who's ever posted in this forum met up in some room (it would have to be big), and every person shook hands with every other person in the room once, but also brung their pets, who also shook hands with everyone in the room once, around one billion hand shakes would occur. It would also take us several days.

17. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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18,510
At least 3 problems:

1) How do you know how many have posted here? Hint - the number of members is NOT the number of posters. Many have a zero post count.
2) How do you know how many members have pets?
3) You haven't explained how to visualise that many posters and pets (even if you did have a firm number).

18. ### Fudge MuffinFudge MuffinRegistered Senior Member

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well at least mines better than your's- I can barely visualise 3.

Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
19. ### Big ChillerRegistered Senior Member

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1,106

We will absolutely have different understandings I agree, everything physical is relative or subjective. By being in agreement the difference in comprehension is being 'bypassed'. Nothing physical is absolute and even immaterial things like electromagnetic fields are physical.

20. ### scheherazadeNorthern Horse WhispererValued Senior Member

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It is the immaterial that supports the physical, is it not? Where science is unable to attach a conceptual numerical reference (measurement) is where much of subjective and objective comprehension collides.

But to keep in the good graces of this thread, we need discuss the visual description of one billion, even if abstractly.

How fortunate that the original poster did not request a visual description of zero (nothing) instead.

Try it sometime. Try to visualize absolutely nothing.

Working graveyards and sleep deprived, I'm bad. Making tossed word salad on you again.