Hella Big? Our Universe in Hellameters, Our Sun in “Hella”watts
Dude. Hate on Northern California if you must, but I think this is a damn fantastic idea (hella good?). I mean, you come up with a better word for 10 to the 27th power…
Sure 10 to the 27th power is a colossal number, but will it be accepted as being hella big? :
An oft-hated slang word coined in Northern California has been proposed as a worthy entry into the field of scientific measurement when calculating enormous numbers.
Austin Sendek, a physics student at UC Davis, wants the number of 10 to the 27th power — a trillion trillions — to officially become “hella” big.
Along the lines of using the “kilo” prefix for kilometers or “giga” for gigabyte, Sendek is petitioning the International System of Units (SI) to use the term “hella” to describe really, really big measurements; such as the size of the universe.
“The diameter of the universe is 1.4 hellameters,” Sendek said. “You know if someone says that’s ‘hella meters’ you know exactly what they’re talking about.“
Under Sendek’s proposed terminology, you would say the mass of the earth is six hellagrams, and the power of the sun is 0.3 hellawatts.
Physics professor Daniel Cox says he gets a kick out of the idea, but points out the number is so big, you can’t use it to count the age of the universe, believed to be a measly five times 10 to the power of 17 seconds.
“Ten to the 27th [power] is about 10 billion times bigger,” Cox said. “That’s a hella lot of seconds.”
Reactions on the UC Davis campus were mixed — one physics student even told CBS13 she would switch majors if the proposal were accepted — and Sendek admits that the odds of his idea gaining traction are “hella small,” but he has his hopes.
“You can apply it everywhere, it’s sort of a catch-all word,” he added.
SI last added a prefix to the metric system in 1991, when they accepted “yotta” to describe 10 to the 24th power.