Thursday, April 01, 2010

Terr-Assumptions

I enjoy reading the FT.   One of my main measures of how hard a week I've had is seeing if a pile of unread FTS is growing on the table at home.   The worst period saw it grow to 13 unread over a two week period.   I was at "3" yesterday when I started reading the paper on the tube.

An observation I've made over many years is that the FT seems to make peculiar assumptions about what its readership knows.

For instance

Anytime there is a conversation about bond yields there is an obligatory parenthetical statement that says "(which move in an inverted ratio with bond price)". It occurs to me that 99% of FT readers would know that yields fall when prices rise.

So imagine what I thought when I read an article about the Large Hadron Collider that includes this useful parethetical quote

"The protons in the LHC require 100megawatts of power ... Collided at more than 7 tera - or trillion - electronvolts. (One TeV is the energy given to an electron as it accelerates through a potential of one volt)"

I am nonethewiser. What does this mean? Is it enough to power a toaster? A house? Manchester? The big bang?


3 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:39 am

    It means you are getting old Alan. Rather like no longer knowing how the video recorder works...it doesn't even use videos!

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  2. Anonymous11:48 am

    A couple of tweets from Brian Cox should help:

    For those that asked, a cup of black coffee has about 10^23 electron Volts of energy - that's 3 kcalories. LHC at the moment is 7 x 10^12 eV.  That means that each LHC collision has 10,000,000,000 times less energy than a cup of black coffee - tell that to the black hole nobbers 
    12:59 AM Mar 31st via TweetDeck

    ReplyDelete
  3. they've invented a recorder for video?  who knew? you'll be telling me that there are 3D televisions next.

    ReplyDelete