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#1 2014-05-26 18:54:51

Size Matters

So, yes, as the title says, this post is about matters relating to size.  I was looking at some old posts in this thread, and it seems that "Too big to comprehend" and "Too small to comprehend" are tossed around a lot.  So I was wondering, at what point is something too big or small to comprehend?

I guess if you have an idea of what the smallest or largest thing we can comprehend is, post it.

Maybe a mountain when you're standing at the base.

 
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#2 2014-05-27 11:10:03

Re: Size Matters

The vastness and depth of the oceans covering about 70% of our planet.

 

#3 2014-05-27 12:13:01

Re: Size Matters

I guess too small to comprehend would be going in to the things that make atoms.
Like Protons all the way to Quarks

 

#4 2014-05-27 14:42:38

Re: Size Matters

I can't comprehend the ocean.  It is water, but it is so big.  Maybe a small lake.
I also can't comprehend atoms.  They are so small... how do you even go about imagining their size?

 

#5 2014-05-27 14:46:26

Re: Size Matters

I would say it really depends on what you mean by comprehend.
I think I can do a pretty decent job Imagining something as small as an atom or as big as maybe.... I'd say our galaxy, either side of those and even my imagination fails me.
But is being able to imagine something the same thing as comprehending it?

 

#6 2014-05-27 15:02:44

Re: Size Matters

That's an interesting question. 
Imagine is to form a mental image or concept of.
Comprehend is to grasp mentally; understand.
So I guess I understand that these things are the size that they are, and I can form a mental image, but I can't picture, in relation to my own body, the size of these things.  An elephant is about the size of fifteen people.  The ocean is... I have no idea how many times larger than me.  A particle is less than a millionth the size of my body, but I can't grasp how much smaller that really is. 

Maybe I'm just not good with spacial relativity.

 

#7 2014-05-27 15:23:10

Re: Size Matters

I feel like I have a pretty decent understanding of atoms. They have a measurable size.
A carbon atom is .22 nm ( one billionth of a meter ) Which, yes, is crazy small, but still measurable. 
for instance a human hair is approximately 300,000 carbon atoms in diameter.
Same goes with our galaxy, which is roughly 110,000 light years in diameter.
I comparison, I am basically non-existent, just as in comparison to me,
an atom is basically non-existent.
I'm not really sure that the numbers do it justice though. hmm

 

#8 2014-05-28 09:56:02

Re: Size Matters

I can't comprehend the distance between me and the stars...

But I think I'm getting the question wrong, aren't I?

 

#9 2016-07-03 09:03:49

Re: Size Matters

Is it too late to get in on this with a penile joke?

 

#10 2016-07-03 12:09:52

Re: Size Matters

Wow, you're so random, para. THIS THREAD IS OVER TWO YEARS OLD! Where did that come from? I mean, I think the joke was quite obviously implied, you didn't need to point it out. tongue In terms of the actual question though, seeing as it's supposed to be scientific (of course para would do it totally wrong big_smile ), it's hard to imagine large quantities of objects, like trying to imagine three golf balls as opposed to fifty, and I think by that kind of logic, you therefore cannot imagine larger objects like the ocean, as Potato said. But you know, para doesn't care about any of that, he just wants to make penis jokes. tongue

 

#11 2016-07-03 16:47:53

Re: Size Matters

As a serious member of this unit, I think it behooves me to make phallic references.

On the other hand, one way to comprehend the vastness of space in our own solar system is to scale it out in a large field. Did this recently. Pluto wasn't even a visible dot on the paper, but it was 200m from the sun which was about 2" in diameter.

 

#12 2016-07-04 10:39:26

Re: Size Matters

Isn't there some sort of art project about that somewhere?
The sun and all its planets are all visible, and to scale (I think), and are laid out to scale on public streets. I think the whole thing spans a few miles...

 

#13 2016-08-01 07:56:10

Re: Size Matters

Not the art project you are talking about, but it does illustrate the distances in our solar system reasonably well. Was also the first time I've heard about a possible 9th planet, aside from pluto ofcourse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR5VJo5ifdE

 

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