Today’s update is being posted an hour earlier than usual; the numbers aren’t going to change much in the next hour, and this timing works better for me today.
Speaking of timing…
The smallest increment of time people generally use is one second. Or, perhaps half a second… as in, “Hey, gimme half a sec…”
Funny to note that if you’ve ever said, “I’ll be there in a jiffy”, it actually means something. A “jiffy”, for computer/electronics people, is the measure of time between alternating power cycles. In North America, that’s 1/60th of a second… to correspond to our 60Hz convention, the rate at which our alternating current flips back and forth from positive to negative.
As technology has evolved, the ability to time things more accurately has greatly improved. Some sports now time things down to the thousandth of a second… but beyond that, unless you’re delving deeply down into science and technology, you won’t be using anything smaller than that. I’ve never seen any handheld timing device that goes beyond milliseconds.
A million times smaller than a millsecond is a nanosecond, something entirely irrelevant for most of us… though it’s also interesting to note that the word “shake” means 10 nanoseconds. If you’ve ever said “I’ll be there in a shake”, it’s probably not what you literally meant… I’m going to guess it took you a bit longer than that.
A trillion times smaller than a nanosecond is a zeptosecond… and, at present, the smallest fragment of time we’re able to actually measure is 247 zeptoseconds… and you’d need the world’s most accurate atomic clock to do so.
Eventually, you reach the bottom… where the smallest fragment of time conceivable can be found. The smallest length we can measure is a Planck length, which is 100 quintillion times smaller than the diameter of a proton. The fastest speed that exists is the speed of light… so, how long does it take light to travel the distance of a Planck length? Not long. The Planck time unit, measured in seconds, has 44 zeroes after the decimal point. That’s the limit of physics, so there can’t be any smaller measure of time.
Except yesterday, I actually discovered a unit of time that’s a bit smaller than that; it’s the unit of time you’d use to measure the time between the moment I hit [Post]… and the moment my mom called to check in on my damaged leg.
On that note, thank you all for your concern. At the end of the day, I didn’t go to the ER… because having had a number of doctors remotely evaluate and discuss, figured the course of action I was taking at home would be exactly what the hospital would do… and given how long it’d been and how it was healing… ok, just leave it. I’m up to date on tetanus vaccinations and I have everything I need to irrigate, disinfect and dress it here… and it’s looking a lot better today. And yes mom, if it shows the slightest hint of infection, I’ll be head straight to the hospital…
And actually, on this beautiful day and with no local C19 update, that’s all I have time for… but I’ll be back in a jiffy with all of the updated numbers… give or take 25 hours.