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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Quote of the Day

    This idea is basic to doing any kind of fancy math with a computer, but it seldom gets mentioned. Being as the paper was written by a couple of guys involved in molecular biology, I suspect that the M after the numbers in the last sentence refer to Moles, as in the molecular concentration of a particular substance in a fluid. fM would be femtoMoles. 10 to the minus 14th power written in decimal form is .000000000000001

  • 1 milli-whatever is written as .001
  • 1 micro .000001
  • 1 nano  .000000001
  • 1 pico  .000000000001
  • 1 femto .000000000000001
    Whenever you are making calculations, you want to use numbers as close to one as you can because inevitably you are going to encounter a multiply or divide by a zillion and if you started with a very big or very small number your result will be off the scale and your answer will be worthless.
    Just for reference, a double precision number in today's common floating point format can have at most 16 significant digits,


2 comments:

Ole Phat Stu said...

atto boy!

Charles Pergiel said...

Just realized you didn't misspell atta. Very funny!