Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Incoherent Industrial Inhibitions?

Last week the power for the entire Rutgers Busch Campus (click on the map to zoom in, as a little compitition lets see who can figure out what departments building doesn't fit) went out. I was in the computer lab at the time; fortunately I was just using the computer as a way to listen to my yahoo radio station, while I studied chemistry. This was amusing for me, because there was suddenly almost total darkness and about 200 uhhhhh's??? Well they kicked everyone out until the power came back on, but while standing outside the computer lab I was talking to notelon. He told me that while doing chemistry problems with batteries not to be surprised to get a Kc to the order of magnitude of 10^300. He went on to tell me that his calculator couldn't get this high so he had to use logs, I told him that my calculator could probably go higher than this. Needless to say my TI-89 went way above 1x10^300 in fact I ascertained that it went all they way up to 2x10^613 (it actually printed out that many zeros), after this point my calculator gave me a data overload message (note in reality 1x10^614 went with no problem however 2x10^614 didn't and 9x10^613 did so I just ignore this point). Kind of a cool coincidence don't you think or maybe it is a sign of divine intervention, but than again maybe not.


  1. On my 8 year old computer, Mathematica can reach numbers exceeding 1.92x10^646456887. Take that TI-89!

  2. Yeah yeah, divine intervention. What your looking at is the IEEE double precision: 64 bits, 1 bit for the sign, 11 bits for the exponent, and 52 bits for the mantissa. That means your biggest number will be ever so slightly less than 2^(2^11). Watch out what you base your faith on.

    Eli, try 128 bits with a 31 bit exponent.

  3. Just want to clear up one fact: The divine intervention argument was not mine.

    Actually I probably didn't need to clear that up. Now it kind of sounds like it was my argument and I'm denying it. But it wasn't and I'm not I mean am.

  4. Uncle Sysfrog5/4/06, 4:55 PM

    It is truly amazing how a power outage can cause strange conversations like ..."My calculator is better than your calculator".

    You should all view the Arguement Clinic for some pointers


  5. thanks for all those helpful Wikipedia links in your blog (why is that becoming the fashion these days?) It provides a humorous (and sometimes rather ridiculous) sub-commentary on things you say in the blog.