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Universal logarithmic measurement unit

Use one unit to express large and small amounts of something
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,

Why should I use weeks to measure the time I'm dating somebody, and miliseconds to measure the time between the finish of two racing cars? Because 20/60.480.000 th of a week probably sounds kind of silly to express the difference between the finishing of those two cars.

But what if there would be a measurement unit that would be as acurate as miliseconds, but also be confortable to use as it is with weeks? Maybe logaritmical (I'm not a math wizard so I'm not sure) So it would sound like: "we broke up 1,5 units ago" and also: "I finished just -0,2 units before him". The unit should be usable in both situations and you don't have to remember how to convert those unit type of things.

Like I said, I'm not much of a math wizard, so I could be way off base here, and it's probably not even practical to use such a complex unit (then again, I'm still having problems converting degrees celcius and farenheit), but it's something that came up, so I committed it to my favorite bakery. :-)

Maybe one of you guys can shine some light on my idea.

psneekes, Sep 26 2002

Exponential birthday intervals http://www.halfbake...irthday_20intervals
[hippo, Sep 27 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       'Maybe one of you guys can shed some light on my idea'   

       is that a pardox?
[ sctld ], Sep 26 2002

       No, psneeks is asking for a logarithmic unit of time. Say we set the base as 60 and the zero point as one second, this will give   

       1 second = 0 ulmus
1 minute = 1 ulmu
1 hour = 2 ulmus
1 day = (gets calculator out...)
st3f, Sep 26 2002

       1 day = 2.78 ulmus
1 week = 3.25 ulmus
1 year = 4.22 ulmus

       Converting the other way   

       -5 ulmus = 1.29 picoseconds
-4 ulmus = 77.2 picoseconds
-3 ulmus = 4.63 microseconds
-2 ulmus = 278 microseconds
-1 ulmus = 0.0167 seconds (1/60 of a second)
0 ulmus = 1 second
1 ulmu = 1 minute
2 ulmus = 1 hour
3 ulmus = 2.5 days
4 ulmus = 150 days
5 ulmus = nearly 25 years

       all, of course completely arbitary and fairly pointless. Cute, though.
(puts calculator away)
st3f, Sep 26 2002

       Hmm... relearning the concept of time.. Nope, not my bag, sorry.
Mr Burns, Sep 26 2002

       Logarithmic units are only really useful when comparing quantities which tend to be logarithmic in meaning. For example, if on a recording a person's voice is 6db louder than the jackhammer in the background, it will remain so regardless of the volume at which the recording is played.   

       A useful place to which this sort of scale might be applied is audio frequencies, with the formula being 12*lg(freq_in_hz/8.1758) [so middle C would be a value of 60 and frequencies would line up with MIDI note numbers.
supercat, Sep 26 2002

       Give me .1693 ulmus to decide if I'll ever utter a public ulmology.
reensure, Sep 26 2002

       [admin] Corrected spelling in title, changed category.
st3f, Sep 26 2002

       Logrithmic units are used for many things already. A few logrithmic units I can think of off of the top of my head:   

       Decibels (sound) Richter (earthquakes) Stellar Magnitude (stars) Storm Magnitude (storms) pH (Acidity)
Krate, Sep 26 2002

       I'll buy [supercat]'s idea for logarithmic frequency units. I've seen way too many cases where log(f) is more directly useful than f itself. But I'm not sure if the normalization to the MIDI note numbers would be as universally useful as a plain log_2(f) or log_10(f).
BigBrother, Sep 26 2002

       ulmu.com is available. Cool.. I can't imagine there are many 4-letter domains available...
waugsqueke, Sep 27 2002

       BigBro: I'll grant that lg(f) may be more useful than the MIDI-normalized value (i.e. a difference of one unit per octave); I don't see much use for a log10-based scale, though. Two pitches may be easily heard as being in a 2:1 ratio (or 4:1, or 8:1, or 16:1), much more so than a 10:1.
supercat, Sep 27 2002

       [supercat]: I was thinking more general-pupose signal analysis, not audio necessarily. But on further thought, octaves are still more useful (generally) than decades, so log_2(f) it is.   

       // Two pitches may be easily heard as being in a 2:1 ratio //   

       Not in your typical high school band. :) You'd be hard pressed to find an integer ratio in that mess.
BigBrother, Sep 27 2002

       If you are doing scientific work, then you already work in seconds. With some very large and very small multipliers. Which are powers of ten, so I think we are already using logarithmic measurement!
pfperry, Sep 27 2002

       ¯waugsqueke: utus.com (as in arbutus) is available … I also wonder how many four letter domains are available.
reensure, Sep 27 2002

       Way above my head.   

       Any ideas for a clock?
BinaryCookies, Sep 29 2002


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