88

..Being a follow up to the glorious 42 (earlier post) in being two times 42 (almost?) – strong, weak and electromagnetic (but not gravitational) at the same time! eh?

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After I published 42,  Fred, a physicist colleague commented that 42 is important in some very fundamental physics and he was disappointed that more hadn’t been made out of this. He also sent some evidence of this grave atrocity!

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From my amateur interest in theoretical particle physics (I was a student of Murray Gell Mann, after all 😉 (Well, I can keep that suspense for another blog post) – I know that the search for the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) made some great progress (with ideas such as string theory). Basically, there are 4 fundamental forces – strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravity. It seems like while others have agreed to be unifired, gravity has been a b*** and has refused to be unified – Any UK/EU readers reading this post? 😉

Well, getting back to 42, apparently, at a  particular high energy, the three ‘friendly’ forces become equal in energy of 1/42 (behold, 42 makes an appearance). If you go to the wikipedia page on 42 – you’ll find a number of entries of the importance of 42  – In fact, exactly 42 total entries under Mathematics, Science, Technology, Astronomy and Religion!! – wow, was that intentional?

Q: For a given number x, can I find x interesting things to say about it? I suppose there may be a way to do that!

Now, what about 88! Of course, 88 is two fat ladies! – that’s it! If you’ve ever had the honour to play Tambola! – I remember as a kid being carted around to Tambola games with my mother and family. At least, that adds to interesting things one can say about the first 90 numbers as listed on this Tambola nicknames site. Now, clearly the nicknames site has an Indian bias – where else would the nickname for the number 83 be India wins Cricket World Cup?

PS: ‘R u sure that 9 time 6 equals 42? My child has a different answer.’ – another comment from a careful reader! I hope you caught that in the last post! My answer, of course, would have been to ask Douglas Adams (if he was alive) or to query his faulty super duper computer yet again!