How big will big be? How small will small be?


At the very end of the Powers of Ten film, one hears the voice of Phil Morrison (who was lauded Professor Emeritus of Physics at MIT) sum up the distance covered in the film from the smallest known particle to the furthest edges of space as a one with 40 zeroes (10+40) meters.  Since the making of the film, the distance has expanded at both ends of the scale to make it a one with 45 zeroes (10+45) meters!

Scale is the NEW geography, and science offers wild, new and exciting frontiers to be pursued in scale.  It’s time to scalestorm (thinking at different scales, working individually and as a group, looking at the evolution of what’s been done, and finding the connections between the scales) not just brainstorm!  Every day we are gaining more information – energies to harness, and universes to explore just for starters. There will be more choices. Powers of Ten workshops offer a chance for all ages to think about the full range from small to big – try one!  Our global society will need a lot of creative ideas to grapple with these matters of scale.

And it’s not if but how soon in the future will we reach a time that the distance from the smallest to the biggest has expanded to a googol which is a one with 100 zeroes or 1010 X 10 or 10+100 meters?  Just imagine when we can Google about fleets of exploration ships that travel through the Milky Way, or nanovessels that repair quarks!

Powers of 10 panels from -18 to +25

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