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09/09/2009

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A curious coincidence!!!


Article published at EL PUNT (Barcelona and Girona Area, Friday 25th September 2009 edition)

 

See attached pdf File

 

A Physical Constant is a physical quantity that is generally accepted as universal in nature and constant in time. A physical constant can be contrasted with a mathematical constant, which is a fixed numerical value but does not directly imply  any physical measure.

 

There are many physical constants in the world of science and in the Universe... perhaps the best known are the constants of Plank h, the constant of universal gravitation G, the speed of light c, the constant of gases R, or the electron charge e, from among many others. 

 

Some physicists have explored the fact that if the fundamental physical constants had slightly different values, our Universe would be radically different and that in all certainty neither life nor intelligent life would have been possible... consequently this gives the sensation that our Universe has been fine-tuned in order to allow intelligent life. This is what the Anthropic Principle suggests, an idea ever more widely accepted by the entire international scientific community.

 

The Strong Anthropic Principle points out that it must be because these fundamental constants acquired their respective values that there has been sufficient order in the Universe and richness of elemental diversity to enable the emergence of life and its ability to evolve towards intelligence...

 

Among all these physical constants there is a very important one in the microcosmos, which is the Avogadro Number.

 

The Avogadro Number or Avogadro Constant (in honor of Amedeo Avogadro) is the number of entities there are in a mole. Its symbol is NA . Formerly, it was defined as the number of carbon-12 atoms there are in 12 g de carbon-12.

 

The Avogadro Constant can be applied to any entity... it is a constant that indicates the quantity of elemental units (atoms, molecules, ions, electrons, or other particles or specific groups of these) existing in a mole of any substance.

 

For example, the relative atomic mass of iron is 55.847; therefore, NA atoms of iron have a mass of 55.847 grams. We can likewise say then that in 1 mole of photons there is an Avogadro constant of photons.

 

The recommended value for the Avogadro Constant is 6.02214179 (30)×1023 mole-1. To simplify, this is usually rounded off to 6.022 × 1023, which is sufficient for most applications.

 

...and now the curious thing...

 

It turns out that when we look at the Cosmos and in particular at the Milky Way, we realize that the approximate number of stars (Suns) NS present in our galaxy is about 500,000 millon stars (5x1011) according to the latest calculations of astronomers.

 

Further, and after the recent Hubble telescope Ultra Deep Field discoveries, the estimate of the number of galaxies NG in the known Universe (as far as the Hubble has reached up till now) is around 200,000 millon (2x1011).

 

So, if we combine the two previous numbers NS x NG in order to obtain an approximation of the number of stars (Suns) in our Universe... what is the result?

 

NS X NG ≈NA

 

In other words, the approximate number of stars in the entire currently known universe is suspiciously close to the Avogadro Number... isn't that interesting? 

 

In conclusion, it seems that one of the most important constants governing the MICROCOSMOS and everyting derived therefrom (including, among other things, intelligent life), could also have an importance in the MACROCOSMOS ... 

 

A coincidence... or is something more hidden here?

 

You decide!!!!!!

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