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From: Anatoli Tubman (anatoli_at_[hidden])
Date: 20010904 01:37:39
On Monday 03 September 2001 20:21, Paul Bristow wrote:
> The main potential problem is the astronomers, but even a megaparasec is
> only
> about 3 million light years where a light year is about 10^15 meter, the
> base unit.
>
> So even with float with a max of 10^38 there is quiet a bit of headroom,
> and with double 10^308 there is plenty.
Actually, the main problem is the physicists. You can't store e^2 or h^2
or Planck time expressed in SI units in a float.
See http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Constants/ for more info.
I don't know squat about superstrings, but I've heared they are either
10 or 26dimensional. It is conceivable that, say, Planck length to the
power of 10 or 26 is needed, or will be needed in the future. For such
exponents even double is too small.
There's an additional benefit of a system where interesting fundamental
constants have value of 1: you can optimize out multiplications by
them.
> [...] If templating can allow other base systems without cost, then OK
Sure templating can do it. I've done it in a prototype library.
 anatoli at ptc dot com  opinions are mine
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