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String Length Discovered

String Length Discovered

By Milton Burns-Maguire
Institute for Mathematical Geniuses, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, UK.

The phrase “how long is a piece of string?” means that the quantitative answer is not available and implicates that the solution may very well be problematical given the information that’s known.

Have you ever asked this question and been hit with the answer “it’s twice as long as half it’s length”? Great, that really doesn’t help all that much. However, after months of work using complicated mathematical equations, some sickeningly tricky statistics and some rather dubious physics, we have come up with the answer - it is 1m 38cm.

journalism experience at Null Hypothesis is great

The answer is pretty simple, but our strategy may not apply to other pieces of string, and may not be applicable to twine, cotton or sticky tape.

When put in other contexts, it may mean different things - “How much do you miss me?” is an equally hard question to answer empirically. We suggest you don’t answer this, or if you do, say “well how long’s a piece of string?”

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07 Jul 2011
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