Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Outrageous Calculations

Having discovered that by 2060 we'll be able to simulate the entire visible Universe at solar mass resolution (if Moore's Law holds), I started wondering:

1) How much storage would it need? Assuming each particle had 8 variables at 8 bytes each, Craig, John Helly and I reckoned 45 zettabytes. (4.5x10**22 bytes).
2) If you used a stack of 300Gb hard disks, how big would it have to be? Well, if they're an inch thick then it'd reach to the Moon and back 5 times.

John also thought that if it were held on Commodore 64 tapes, the cardboard box required to store them under your bed would be 24km on a side. I hope therefore that USB keyrings continue to foster a miniturisation in data storage technology.


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