According to Douglas AdamsHitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the well-known answer to the Ultimate Question of Life the Universe and Everything. Adams described his choice as a completely ordinary number with no hidden meaning. Despite of this fact and just for fun, I tried to find occurrences of 42 in physics. A short list is given below inlcuding even a dimensionless quantity (4). Everyone is welcome to continue it.

(1) One femtosecond is about 42 atomic units of time.

(2) A ball rolling frictionless through a tunnel connecting two arbitrary locations on the earth’s (idealized as a sphere of homogeneous mass density) surface needs about 42 minutes for a single trip.

(3) The maximum deflection angle (red light) of the primary rainbow is about 42°.

(4) The ratio of the electrostatic and gravitational force between two electrons is 4.2 * 10^42.

… ?

P.S.: This is just for fun – I do not believe in any kind of numerology.

2 Responses to “42!”

  1. 73 – the best number? « feldfrei's blog Says:

    […] was convinced that 42 is a  funny number but the last episode  of  “The Big Bang Theory” (4×10: The […]

  2. 73 – the best number! ‹ SPARKY's Blog Says:

    […] was convinced that 42 is a funny number but the last episode of “The Big Bang Theory” (4×10: The Alien Parasite […]

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