Another key analogy

Alex Bischoff (abischof@vt.edu)
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 17:01:40 -0400


I was thinking about the haystack, and I was wondering what it'd be like
if these were real keys we were trying out. So, I decided to figure out how
many times around the Sun a line of keys, laid end-to-end, could go.

Note #1: This is based on the assumption that an average key is 2 inches
long. I think that's pretty close to true, and I even measured my own keys
to make sure.

Note #2: This is, of course, based on all the keys, though we probably
won't have to go through all of them.

Lastly, I think I did the math right, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Orbit of earth
====================
9.39951 x 10^13 cm

OR

3.70059448819 x 10^ 13 inches

Number of keys
==================
2^56 keys * (2 inches per key) = 2^57 inches

Calculation
===================
2^57 / (3.70059448819 x 10^13) = 3894 times around the sun

Alex
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