The Good Ones Never Come Easy

Never heard of the Planck Length? Neither had I. It holds an interesting place in our scientific conversation. A Planck Length is 1.616199(97)×10−35 meters.

Four days a week I produce a tech/science feature on FoxCT where I work. They’re fun to do, but it’s a bottomless pit! I need something new and interesting every day.

Usually the topics come while reading. Something I see will be the seed. I do a little research, look for supporting video and it’s off to the races.

Most of the time the process take a few days. Seldom do I ponder a story more than a week. That’s not how it’s working out with the Planck Length.

Never heard of the Planck Length? Neither had I. It holds an interesting place in our scientific conversation. A Planck Length is 1.616199(97)×10−35 meters.

In some forms of quantum gravity, the Planck length is the length scale at which the structure of spacetime becomes dominated by quantum effects, and it would become impossible to determine the difference between two locations less than one Planck length apart.

Let me de-buzz that for you. In theory even if something was smaller than a Planck Length there is no way to measure it. Quantum physics (a subject I know nearly zero about) gets in the way!

I will continue to ponder. Maybe it will be a story about small things in general. There’s cool video floating around with Admiral Grace Hopper demonstrating the distance light travels in a millionth of a second!

The good ones never come easy

11 thoughts on “The Good Ones Never Come Easy”

  1. Maybe Mandelbrot and fractals would be interesting. How long is the eastern US coastline? Most people would say it’s about 1500 miles long. But what if you start measuring it in finer detail. If you measure it including the added length of bays and other irregularities, it gets a lot longer. If you get down on your hands and knees, and start measuring it along every little nook and cranny, around every rock and grain of sand, it might be millions of miles long. How long is it at the molecular level?

  2. This may be a bit much, not for the audience,but the time limit. In order to have them relate, you need a video similar to “Powers of Ten” I believe was the name. With each frame zooming in 10x…

    Good luck! Not an easy idea to grasp let alone try to get accross to others with little or no background. I wish you the best! I’ll be watching..

  3. When it comes to understanding quantum mechanics and theory there is really only one person I trust to put it in a reasonably easy to understand fashion and that’s Dr Brian Cox. He works at CERN in Switzerland where they are hunting for the higgs boson. But he also makes a lot of science programs for the BBC maybe its worth you looking into some of his work they’ll give you some food for thought anyway….

  4. the only thing I think needs to be said is that there is a distance that is at once measurable and unmeasurable because the difference between the two is unknowable. Why unknowable? Because we can only measure to that percent of reality, and the other interstitial between that measure an the thing we don’t know about is imponderable.

    Or maybe just that math explains everything except that which we don’t know how to measure. Something like that.

    Great thing to ponder.

  5. OK, I’m gonna skip commenting on the quantum mechanics, but if you want an interesting turn on your tech features, take a look at DAWs. Digital Audio Workstations. Sgt. Pepper was recorded on 4-track analog machines. At home, on my desk right now I have a 32 track studio with capabilities that weren’t even imagined in the sixties. Plus, the DAW I usually work with is free! It’s all enabled folks to produce commercially viable works without venturing into a studio. Plus, there’s a huge amount of support and info from other people doing the same. Just thinking it might a good tech piece, and would love to see you cover it.

  6. You’ve lost me here Geoff! Just post more cute pictures of Doppler!!!

    Or better yet, tell me how I can make my COMCAST work with Tivo after the upgrades last fall. I purchased the DVR boxes, and am now paying about $50 a month more for less functionality. Very annoying.

  7. A comparison between videotape and final cut would be an interesting piece. You could show how you produce your segments.

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