Planck Bicycle Playing Cards
A November 2020 Pip Box Club Selection - For more information on joining Pip Box Club click here.
SCIENCE! Who doesn’t love to nerd out contemplating the vast expanse of the universe? Equally fascinating is the very tiniest aspects of the universe governed by quantum mechanics. The Planck Deck pays tribute the very, very small, in addition to science, physics and astronomy in general. I am not a physicist. Quantum mechanics and astronomy is a hobby for me. Any misstatements about the subject are unintentional. Let me know if I've got something wrong and I'll be happy to correct it.
So what does “Planck” mean? VERY generally, it actually refers to several things but is most commonly used to refer to the Planck Length. The Planck Length is the smallest measurable distance in science that has practical meaning. The Planck Length is small, I mean REALLY small. What’s the smallest thing you can think of? Well, the Planck Length is millions of time smaller than that. It's represented as 1.6 x 10 to the -35. That's 1.6 with 35 zeros in front of it!
Often discussed with the Planck Length is Planck Time and the Planck Constant. Planck Time is the length of time it would take a proton to cross the Planck Length. This is the smallest measure of time with any practical meaning and is represented as 10 to the -43 seconds. The Planck Constant describes the behavior of particles and waves on the atomic scale.
These concepts were developed by a late 19th/early 20th century physicist named Max Planck (1858-1947) who was famous for developing quantum theory. Quantum Theory helps us understand how nature works at the atomic and sub-atomic levels, which is very different from how things work on larger scales using general relativity.