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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the answer is 42 !!

well you must be wondering, the question will be "what is 6 times 7 or 7 times 6 ?"

well some claim it is the answer to the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything !

here are some questions one can think of.

what is the sum of the totient function for the first eleven integers ?
what is a perfect score on the USA Math Olympiad (USAMO and International Mathematical Olympiad ?
what is the atomic number of molybdenum ?
what is the result given by Google when the query "answer to life, the universe, and everything" is entered as a search string ?
and so on..

the answer to all the above is 42.

don't believe me ? ask google.

Yes as you might have presumed , i have read the book " Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy" . The book goes on to ponder , the answer is 42 , but what is the real question. The question is what gives us the meaning of life , the universe and everything. As we speak , several light years away , there might be aliens working on it. There might be a super computer computing , to find out the question.

As a mere mortal on earth , i think my intelligence doesnt permit me to figure it out. I can just guess , there is no question , life gives us answers , it never gives us a question , a reason , or anything which will let us conquer our very purpose of existence. Okay fine i don't know what i am talking about. Ive always wanted to write on this for a long time , ever since i have read the book. The number has caught on to me. Everyday i come across the number , i give it a thought.

here is what i have thought of till now , Note: the below content can be very dangerous to all those read , it could change you forever or could drive you insane. You are warned

here goes
42 is a 2 digit even number.The number has the digits 2 & 4 . When i added them up , i arrived at 6. 6 it is the atomic number of carbon. Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. A simple Wiki or Google search will tell you that Carbon forms the backbone of biology for all life on Earth. Phew , now that brings us to earth. Home to millions of species,including humans, Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist, at least known to earthlings :P.
It has a unique position relative to the Sun; it is the only planet within the Habitable Zone.Moreover, the Earth is fortunate that a series of circumstances (its relation to the gas giant planets, a large moon and a particularly stable orbit, an atmosphere and a magnetic field) have combined to enhance the long-term stability of the planet, allowing an extended period over which life could develop and evolve.All these circumstances conspire to render the Earth and the development of higher forms of life unique, almost certainly in the Solar System - and possibly in the Universe.

If any living body examines our planet , the first thing he/she/it would notice would be the abundance of water. 70% of earth is water , another few % is in solid ice , leaving very little land. Now that brings us to water.Water is a common chemical substance that is essential for the survival of all known forms of life.Much of the universe's water may be produced as a byproduct of star formation. A water molecule has 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atoms. atomic numbers of hydrogen and oxygen are 1 and 8 respectively. Since oxygen is a major part of life , i consider oxygen the dominant of the two constituents. Since oxygen atomic no. is 8 , we come to the number 8. The reason i am more interested in numbers is because the answer to life and everything is also a number. So anyways , 8..well while researching on 8 , i came across the fact that 8 is the only Fibonacci number that is a perfect cube. A perfect Cube , how is that of any significance , ofcourse a is symmetrical , It has the largest volume among cuboids (rectangular boxes) with a given surface area. Also, a cube has the largest volume among cuboids with the same total linear size (length + width + height). And more significantly it has 6 faces. Well that brings us back to the number 6. How did we get 6 earlier , well its from the digits 4 and 2. That brings us to the answer 42 Again. Guess my entire research has been futile , i'l have to start with a fresh approach. The way of working back from the answer to arrive at the question is not helping. phew.

hopefully in my lifetime , someone does get us the question.

ps. I am not drunk , i have not lost it , and no i am not bored.

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