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Mathematics are Base 10. Brian Greene stated that there are 20 numbers that are special to physics. Could there be a system based on those?

I was just watching Brian Greene's talk on string theory, and he was saying that there are about 20 numbers that are special to physics (eg. mass of a proton, electron, neutron, etc), but that there was this question as to why these numbers, out of every number, and why so fine-tuned and precise of a number. Now obviously our current mathematics have been working for us, and that these numbers have worked for us so far. Do you think there will ever be a point where our current Base 10 system doesn't work any more (we have had other base systems in the past)? Any thoughts on if you think an entirely new mathematics could be made based on these 'special' numbers from physics? I have no background in this, and no idea, so just thought I'd throw it out there.

  • Jan 13 2012: Hi Guys,

    It's not really a base system that you'd look for. Our decimal numbers are just a way of expressing a mathematical concept. The number of fingers on our hands remains the same regardless of whether you record it as 10, 1010 (base 2), 12 (base 8), A (base 16) or 14 (base 6).

    There are very vigorous users for bases other than base 10. The computer that you're reading this on works exclusively on base 2 (or base 16, their really the same thing.)

    Best wishes,
    Doug
    • Jan 14 2012: I realize what you're saying, I think I was just overthinking things when I posted this. Thanks!
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    Jan 12 2012: And what about Martin Rees' book from 1999 "Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe"
    http://www.amazon.com/Just-Six-Numbers-Forces-Universe/dp/0465036732

    Martin Rees talked at TEDGlobal 2005, but didn't mentioned the 6 numbers.
    Still, his talk is very interesting.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/martin_rees_asks_is_this_our_final_century.html

    And Brian Green talked at TED2005...
    So should we go for "Base 6" ? Or should we go for "Base 20" ?
    A real dilemma, indeed :-)