Tuesday, September 08, 2009
You Brain Is Like A Lump of Coal
School has started again and I find that I need to fill my Human Social Science requirements. So I am taking Psychology; yes I know psychology. The professor is a bit of an eccentric, also makes rather large statements as if they where facts. The one statement that I have decided to nitpick is a fun one, he stated that the brain is incredibly amazing (a fact that I will not debate), however felt it necessary to add one more thing to how amazing the brain is. He informed the class that the brain has more connections in it then there are atoms in the universe. Of course this immediately range alarm bells in the scientist part of me. Looking at this from the most basic logical standpoint, the fact that your brain is enclosed in the universe means that it can't possibly have more things in it than the universe. However, for the sake of argument lets work it out. The human brain weighs around 3 pounds or 1400 grams assuming that all of the material in your brain is carbon (ignoring that it is mostly water weight) every 12 grams of carbon would be one mole of atoms or Avogadros number (6.02*10^23) atoms per 12 grams. So lets divide the 1400 by 12 then multiply this by 4 which is the number of bonds carbon is capable of making. Now lets multiply this by Avogadros number and we find that at most the brain can have about 2.81*10^26 connections in it. Another way to look at this, which is really the whole point is that what the professor was saying is that your brain is about as amazing as a lump of wet coal, of course mabey his is.