Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural, physical, or material world or universe. “Nature” refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the cosmic. -wikipedia

There is not just one of anything in nature. There are the “first ones” of nature, but never the “just ones” of nature.

Our universe is named and called “Our Universe” because it’s the only universe known to us earthlings in the 21st century. And obviously, our big bang is named and called “Our Big Bang” for the same reason.

Nature, by definition, is a broader term than the word “universe”. Should there be other universes, they would also be a part of nature.

So, somewhat ironically, while there isn’t just one of anything in nature, there is only one nature, in the broadest sense.

Nature, it’s the largest scale.

In The Vertical Theory of Infinity, or just Vertical Theory, infinity extends both outward to the “void above” and inward to the “void below”. Otherwise, simplistically stated for the purpose of visual scale mental imaging only, infinity extends further than 10googillion Light Years in an outward or increasing size  direction and further than 10-googillion Planck lengths in an inward or decreasing size direction with layered or component structures and with no end.*


* guiding principles: (1) There isn’t just one of anything in nature, why would there be just one universe? (2) The anthropocentric bias of science. We are not at the center or middle of any large or small scale picture in nature. (3) Yes, there are practical problems with this model. It is intended as a philosophy-of-science statement.

Mathematicians at UCLA have discovered a 13 million-digit prime number, a long-sought milestone that makes them eligible for a $100,000 prize. (Sept. 28)

Definition: GooSecond

Definition: GooSecond

A GooSecond is one googillionth of a second

Several years ago (2005), I googled the word “googillion” and to my surprise it only returned three hits. So I thought I would have some fun and see what would happen if I promoted the word “googillion” beginning with writing its definition. At that time the definition was:

“A googillion is an astronomer’s “largest number possible” synonym for everyday real-world objects that are unknown and unknowable. Example, from string theory, how many strings are there in the universe? The answer is a googillion. Although the real answer is a specific number at any given point in time, the number is both an unknown and unknowable largest number.”

And I proceeded to submit it to the online dictionaries, Wikipedia, and other media like Wired magazine. Today there are thousands of google search hits for the word “googillion” coming from many contributors and originators.

Strings are obviously arbitrary, the number could just as easily represent all the sub-atomic particles, and so on.

Moving from the cosmological scale to the quantum scale, we would have a goometer as one googillionth of a meter and a goosecond as one googillionth of a second. Which produces such child-like questions as … “What would I see through a goometric microscope?” Yes I know, it’s silly and what about planck length … it’s a child’s question. And, does anything in the universe happen in less than a goosecond?

Lastly, what would I see if looking at a neutrino through a goometric microscope frozen in a goosecond of time? The answer certainly should be nothing, but then a goometer is a really really long distance and a goosecond is a really really long period of time.

Goo, the new Nano.

How old are you in nanoseconds?

A nanosecond (ns) is one billionth of a second … 10−9 seconds

  • 1.02 nanoseconds (approximately) – time taken for light to travel one foot
  • 20-40 nanoseconds – time of fusion reaction in a hydrogen bomb

How many seconds are there in a year?

Copy and paste into the google search field for the answer:

For seconds in one year -

365 x 24 x 60 x 60

For your age in seconds -

365 x 24 x 60 x 60 x (your age)

For your age in nanoseconds -

365 x 24 x 60 x 60 x 1,000,000,000 x (your age)

If our sun was reduced to the scale of a five foot ball, it would be 25,000 miles from our nearest star – Alpha Centauri.

Check out the facts below:

Interstellar scale

The scale of planets, stars, and galaxies is very hard to grasp; here are some models that will help. Distances are rounded off for easy visualization.

To visualize the solar system we can use a scale of one billionth, the nano scale.

At the nano (one billionth) scale:

  • The Earth is half an inch across.
  • The moon is 1/8 inch across and a foot from the Earth.
  • The Sun is five feet across and 500 feet from Earth.
  • Jupiter is six inches across and half a mile from the Sun.
  • Pluto is four miles from the Sun.
  • The nearest star, Alpha Centauri, is as far away as once around the earth.
  • The speed of light is one foot per second.

This is still too large a scale for interstellar space but we can use a scale of one billionth times one billionth, the nano-nano scale.

At the nano-nano (one billionth times one billionth) scale:

  • The earth is as small as an atom.
  • The solar system is too small to see.
  • The speed of light is 3/8 inch per year, three feet per century, or six miles per million years.
  • The nearest star, Alpha Centauri, is one and a half inches away.
  • The brightest star, Sirius, is three inches away.
  • The stars in the Big Dipper range from two to four feet away.
  • The North Star, Polaris, is thirteen feet away.
  • The Milky Way, our galaxy, is half a mile wide and has 150 billion stars.
  • The nearest galaxy, Andromeda, is a mile wide and seventeen miles away.
  • The next nearest galaxies are six in a group named Sculptor, 60 miles away.
  • There are 50-100 billion galaxies within a distance of 3-4 times around the Earth.
  • Light from this far away has been traveling since the big bang.
Another way to discover the size and scale of our solar system
First, collect the objects you need. They are:

Sun-any ball, diameter 8.00 inches
Mercury-a pinhead, diameter 0.03 inch
Venus-a peppercorn, diameter 0.08 inch
Earth-a second peppercorn
Mars-a second pinhead
Jupiter-a chestnut or a pecan, diameter 0.90 inch
Saturn-a hazelnut or an acorn, diameter 0.70 inch
Uranus-a peanut or coffeebean, diameter 0.30 inch
Neptune-a second peanut or coffeebean
Pluto- a third pinhead (no longer having planet status)

You may suspect it is easier to search out pebbles of the right sizes. But the advantage of distinct objects such as peanuts is that their rough sizes are remembered along with them. It does not matter if the peanut is not exactly .3 inch long; nor that it is not spherical.

A standard bowling ball happens to be just 8 inches wide, and makes a nice massive Sun, so I couldn’t resist putting it in the picture. But it may not be easy to find and certainly isn’t easy to carry around. There are plenty of inflatable balls which are near enough in size.

The three pins must be stuck through pieces of card, otherwise their heads will be virtually invisible. If you like, you can fasten the other planets onto labeled cards too.

Begin by spilling the objects out on a table and setting them in a row. Here is the moment to remind everyone of the number of planets -9- and their order–MVEMJSUNP. (This mvemonic could be made slightly more pronounceable by inserting the asteroids in their place between Mars and Jupiter: MVEMAJSUNP.)

The first astonishment is the contrast between the great round looming Sun and the tiny planets. (And note a proof of the difference between reading and seeing: if it were not for the picture, the figures such as “8 inches” and “.08 inch” would create little impression.) Look at the second peppercorn–our “huge” Earth–up beside the truly huge curve of the Sun.

Having set out the objects with which the model is to be made, the next thing is to ask: “How much space do we need to make it?” Children may think that the table-top will suffice, or a fraction of it, or merely moving the objects apart a little. Adults think in terms of the room or a fraction of the room, or perhaps the corridor outside.

To arrive at the answer, we have to introduce scale.

This peppercorn is the Earth we live on.

The Earth is eight thousand miles wide! The peppercorn is eight hundredths of an inch wide. What about the Sun? It is eight hundred thousand miles wide. The ball representing it is eight inches wide. So, one inch in the model represents a hundred thousand miles in reality.

This means that one yard (36 inches) represents 3,600,000 miles. Take a pace: this distance across the floor is an enormous space-journey called “three million six hundred thousand miles.”

Now, what is the distance between the Earth and the Sun? It is 93 million miles. In the model, this will be 26 yards.

This still may not mean much till you get one of the class to start at the side of the room and take 26 paces. He comes up against the opposite wall at about 15!

Clearly, it will be necessary to go outside.

Hand the Sun and the planets to members of the class, making sure that each knows the name of the object he or she is carrying, so as to be able to produce it when called upon.

You can make some play with the assigning of the objects to the “gods” who are to be their bearers. Selecting a blond Sun, a hyperactive Mercury, a comely Venus, a redhaired or pugnacious Mars, a ponderous or regal Jupiter, a ring- wearing Saturn a blue-eyed Uranus, a swimming-champion Neptune, a far-out Pluto can enliven the proceedings and teach a few scraps of mytholgy or planetology. It is unfortunate that only Venus and Earth (the Moon) are female (most of the goddesses have given their names to asteroids instead).

You will have found in advance a spot from which you can walk a thousand yards in something like a straight line. This may not be easy. Straightness of the course is not essential; nor do you have to be able to see one end of it from the other. You may have to “fold” it back on itself. It should be a unit that will make a good story afterwards like “All the way from the flagpole to the Japanese garden!”

Put the Sun ball down, and march away as follows. (After the first few planets, you will want to appoint someone else to do the actual pacing-call this person the “Spacecraft” or “Pacecraft”-so that you are free to talk.)

10 paces. Call out “Mercury, where are you?” and have the Mercury-bearer put down his card and pinhead, weighting them with a pebble if necessary.

Another 9 paces. Venus puts down her peppercorn.
Another 7 paces. Earth

Already the thing seems beyond belief. Mercury is supposed to be so close to the Sun that it is merely a scorched rock, and we never see it except in the Sun’s glare at dawn or dusk-yet here it is, utterly lost in space! As for the Earth, who can believe that the Sun could warm us if we are that far from it?

The correctness of the scale can be proved to skeptics (of a certain maturity) on the spot. The apparent size of the Sun ball, 26 paces away, is now the same as that of the real Sun-half a degree or arc, or half the width of your little finger held at arm’s length. (If both the size of an object and its distance have been scaled down by the same factor, then the angle it subtends must remain the same.)

Another 14 paces. Mars

Now come the gasps, at the first substantially larger leap:

Another 95 paces to Jupiter

Here is the “giant planet”-but it is a chestnut, more than a city block from its nearest neighbor in space!

From now on, amazement itself cannot keep pace, as the intervals grow extravagantly:

Another 112 paces. Saturn
Another 249 paces. Uranus
Another 281 paces. Neptune
Another 242 paces. Pluto

You have marched more than half a mile! (The distance in the model adds up to 1,019 paces. A mile is 1,760 yards.)

To do this, to look back toward the Sun ball, which is no longer visible even with binoculars, and to look down at the pinhead Pluto, is to feel the terrifying wonder of space.

That is the outline of the Thousand-Yard Model. But be warned that if you do it once you may be asked to do it again. Children are fascinated by it enough to recount it to other children; they write “stories” which get printed in the school paper; teachers from other schools call you up and ask you to demonstrate it.

So the outline can bear variation and elaboration. There are different things you can remark on during the pacings from one planet to the next, and there are extra pieces of information that can easily be grafted on. These lead forward, in fact, to the wider reaches of the universe, and make the planet walk a convenient introduction to a course in astronomy. But omit them if you are dealing with children young enough to be confused, or if you yourself would prefer to avoid mental vertigo.

I recommend that you stop reading at this point, carry out the walk once, and then read the further notes.


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