How Long Is A Piece Of String?

  • Published 7 years ago
  • 10

Alan Davies discovers that to answer that question is much more difficult than originally thought after visiting the mathematician Marcus du Sautoy to help you find an answer. However, this creates more questions, requiring a trip to a place dedicated to the measurement, the National Physical Laboratory.

Find the exact length of the test string even more problematic when Marcus proposes the chain can be infinitely long, thanks to the theory of fractals. After leaving Marcus, Alan visit a physics professor to see if measuring the chain of atoms can help find an answer. However, this means exploring quantum mechanics.

Alan goes to a laboratory to explore the theory of quantum mechanics in more detail to see if the string can be in two places at once, confusing him further. Still no closer to an answer Alan introduces the theory that the chain can have multiple lengths at the same time, all with the help of a stuffed cat. Alan does not believe that quantum mechanics is important in a basic scale, but the photosynthesis and the ability to smell could change his mind.

If Alan was to find the most accurate way to measure the string could theoretically create a black hole. Trying to find the answer to this question has been a philosophical journey of Alan, but still visits Marcus du Sautoy to say that his personal response.

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