# How Many Years Is 1 Billion Seconds

How Many Years Is 1 Billion Seconds – This morning at breakfast my 10 year old told me that a billion seconds is 31.71 years. He also said something about gigadollars, Minecraft and Roblox. But he was fascinated by how something so small, a single moment, could turn into something three times longer than he had lived.

In this one sentence, my 10-year-old tells a story about the future and big numbers, two things that people are really bad at thinking about.

## How Many Years Is 1 Billion Seconds

Answer these two questions before you read on – write your answers down and we’ll get back to you.

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Where will the 1 million go now using this line? According to David Landy, a cognitive scientist who studies mathematical perception and numerical reasoning at Indiana University, “About 40% to 50% of test takers get it very wrong, and when they get it very wrong, they almost always get it very wrong. . .”

How are they doing it wrong? According to Landi, “The typical person places the marker near the center. But that’s where the 500 million should go. Another 1 million is very close to the first end of that line, in fact about 499 million times closer to the first part of the line.”

And the answer to the first two questions? Well, a million seconds is 11 ½ days. As my son told me over breakfast, a billion seconds is about 31 ½ years.

Can you imagine cavemen a trillion seconds ago trying to imagine what 2020 would be like? Conceptually, it seems impossible to imagine the year 33020.

## Million Seconds Is 11 Days; 1 Billion Is 31 Years

And in this timeline the United Federation of Planets was founded (2161) and dissolved (between 3069-3089). The year 3188 is 1168 years in the future, which is 36,834,048,000 seconds in the future… or 36.8 billion seconds.

These tidbits are great for conversation at the breakfast table or to excite your child’s mind, but let’s delve deeper into a few theories about why we humans have such a hard time thinking about big numbers and what they are. We mean it in practice and why it is so important that we go.

What are some productive ways to short-circuit our brains when trying to conceptualize large numbers? What this means for the future and how it will change our actions (or inaction).

You may have misunderstood the timeline questions. We are not used to thinking in seconds, as humans we do not even record time. But it’s not just seconds and years that trigger our brains, but a whole range of things. Think back to your first science lessons when you learned that everything around you and you is made of matter, and matter is made of molecules.

### Chronology Of The Universe

These molecules are so small that you can’t see them with the naked eye, but if you placed them next to each other, you could line up a million of them in a neat little line one millimeter long. Molecules are the “big men” of particle physics. All molecules are made up of atoms.

This is the picture you remember from science class, an atom has protons and neutrons in the nucleus in the center and orbiting electrons. This nucleus is about 10,000 times smaller than the atom itself because atoms are mostly empty space. There are about 10 protons and neutrons in each nucleus

Meter wide. If you put a trillion neutrons and protons side by side, they would be about a millimeter long.

Want to be less? To find quarks, the smallest particles currently known to physicists, you have to get inside protons and neutrons. Quarks are fun because there are six of them; Thinking Up/Down, Up/Down and Charming/Weird, Snow White and Six Quarks. They always come in pairs, held together by a force called glue… in whatever flavor they come in.

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So how many quarks fit into one millimeter? These quarks are so small that they cannot be measured… at least not with current equipment. (Before, we couldn’t even measure molecules, atoms, or neutrons.)

So it’s not just the big things that we struggle to think about, but many very small things that short-circuit our brains.

Does your brain still hurt? Let’s do another experiment – this time with something slightly larger than a quark, but smaller than a loaf of bread. Something you can measure, hold and touch, the traditional six sided form. Try to imagine someone dying in your mind. I understood?

Now try to imagine 100 dice. How it looks? Are you sure it’s a hundred? Or is what you envision more like “a lot” or “a bunch?” How it looks? why is that? To better understand our inability to imagine exact numbers past a certain size, some scientists would tell us that we need to travel back in time to understand how our earliest ancestors (or cousins ​​of our ancestors) used and thought about numbers.

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As a caveat, scientists know that evolution (organisms change over time), but while they have many theories on the subject, they don’t always know why it happens. When talking about evolution in biology and psychology, assumptions are often made that cannot be falsified, requiring the provability of bad scientific claims.

Furthermore, evolution is a complex, multi-functional system, and isolating cause and effect for a hypothetical trait makes for a great story to explain the concept, but it’s not fact or even a testable theory…yet. Neurobiology and cognitive neuroscience are actively working to understand how our brains understand numbers, why some brains work better than others, and why some struggle at all. This research and these findings are important to uncovering how we can do a better job of teaching numeracy and literacy.

While we know that some animals recognize groups of numbers, we’ll explore two explanations for why humans and other animals don’t count—how our brains think about a few or many and distinguish between a handful. and the gang. Thinking about how our ancestors learned to think about numbers can help us understand that being able to think about numbers is a higher-level skill and how our brains need additional tools and language to help us think about big numbers. , because our brain is not enough on its own without the right tools.

Jump into our DeLorean app and we’ll set it a trillionth of a second in the past, before the first cave paintings you know now and before there was recognizable language (which we’ll learn is essential to developing digital literacy).

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When we step out of our DeLorean and observe our ancestors (or distant cousins ​​of our ancestors), we see how different they are from us, not just because they wear 1950s clothing in our orange skin. vest… but it looks important! At least for the sexual selection hypothesis.

The theory of sexual selection is an explanation for the acquisition of traits that have no direct adaptive value. Why do peacocks have huge colorful feathers and what was the appeal of orange seashells in the 1980s? gives short answers to questions like

If a trait has no survival advantage and can be a disadvantage in hiding from predators, sexual attractiveness offers a possible explanation. A large display of color makes the peacock more sexually attractive to its mates, who over time outcompete less colorful and genetically selected competitors for this trait in reproduction.

Development for human reproduction for higher cognitive functions, including numerical abilities. We like this theory because the nerds win (as they should).

### This Poster Putting A Million, Billion And Trillion Into Perspective

The adaptation theory says that our ability to easily imagine the number of dice, which was important to our ancestors, evolved into groups of numbers instead. How many lions are in the pack? How many people do you need to feed? How much food should we prepare for the winter if we all want to survive?

Stanslas Dehaene, a French author and cognitive neuroscientist who studies numerical cognition, has spent his career studying the brains of animals, Amazonian tribes, and the world’s best mathematicians to learn how our brains understand numbers.

He learned that our need to understand numbers evolved with us as we evolved. He studied where language is “coded” in the brain and worked with people with brain damage to understand how much of our numeracy is instinctive and learned, and how culture and language influence the way we think about numbers. we study mathematics.

For example, most cultures and languages ​​with Germanic or Romance roots are difficult about the words they use for numbers, which physically slows down how well speakers of those languages ​​think about numbers. Chinese is the opposite, many researchers explain

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