The universe and more answers
Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas AdamsThe unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.
They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.
How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert “universal” Armageddon and save life as we know it–and don’t know it!
The answer to life, the universe, and everything
The data has allowed the rate of expansion to be pinned down to a supposed accuracy of a couple of percent. However, this newest estimate stands in stark contradiction with an independent measure of the Hubble constant based on observations of ancient light that was released shortly after the Big Bang. In short, the universe is getting bigger quicker than it should be. The mismatch is significant and problematic because the Hubble constant is widely regarded as the most fundamental number in cosmology. In an expanding universe, the further away a star or galaxy is, the quicker it is receding. So one approach to measuring it is by observing the redshifts of bright supernovae, whose light is stretched as the very space it is travelling through expands.
Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is. Thus, to calculate the Ultimate Question, a special computer the size of a small planet was built from organic components and named "Earth". This appeared first in the radio play and later in the novelization of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The fact that Adams named the episodes of the radio play "fits", the same archaic title for a chapter or section used by Lewis Carroll in The Hunting of the Snark , suggests that Adams was influenced by Carroll's fascination with and frequent use of the number. The fourth book in the series, the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish , contains 42 chapters. According to the novel Mostly Harmless , 42 is the street address of Stavromula Beta.
It seems that Douglas Adams was right after all: the answer to Life, the Universe and everything, is Cambridge astronomers have found that 42 is the value of an essential scientific constant - one which determines the age of the universe. After seven and a half million years' calculation, back came the answer - In slightly less time - two years- a team at the Cavendish Laboratory has managed the same feat, using a new technique to estimate the value of the "Hubble Constant". This measures how quickly objects in the universe are receding from each other - a natural outcome of the Big Bang that created the universe.
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Login or Subscribe Newsletter. This plot by Andrew Sutherland depicts the computation times for each of the ,plus jobs that his team ran on Charity Engine's compute grid. Each dot in the plot represents 25 jobs plotted according to their median runtime, with purple dots representing "smooth" values of d those with no large prime divisors , and blue dots representing non-smooth values of d — the algorithm handles these two cases differently. Sandi Miller Department of Mathematics September 10, Sandi Miller Email: sandim mit.