Learn Something New Today: The Exact Size Of A Nanosecond

They always say that a great teacher can make even the most boring topics interesting. Learning about electricity and nanoseconds isn’t boring at all to me, but if it is to you, naval officer Rear Admiral Grace Hopper will explain it in a way that makes it super fun. If you think old people (and old video clips) are boring, well, I’m about to prove you wrong.

Some people credit Grace Hopper with creating the world’s first computer. That might be a stretch, but it’s true she started winning awards for her computer science discoveries beginning in 1969. She also had a warship named after her, so back in the day, she was most likely a badass.

In this video below, she illustrates with a piece of wire how long a nanosecond is. A nanosecond is a billionth of a second. According to Wikipedia, one nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.7 years. According to Ms. Hopper, a nanosecond is 11.8 inches of wire. That is amount of space or distance it would take light (like electricity) to travel a nanosecond.

Speaking of electricity, have you ever wondered what color electricity is? Electricity can’t be seen. When we see lightning, we are really seeing heat energy. What we think is the color of electricity is really the color of the ionized gas that the electricity passes through. This concludes our science lesson for the day. :)


Via: [Geekosystem] [aiBOB]