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Thread: base 6 vs base 10

  1. #1 base 6 vs base 10 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    base 6 instead of base 10

    It is my understanding that base 6 was used by ancient fertile crescent cultures.

    if i understand it correctly base 6 was derived from creating consecutive rings of disks of a like size
    1 in the center
    6 in the first ring
    12 in the next ring,
    18 in the next, etc

    comparing the area of a circle enscribing the second ring to the areas of the contained 7 disks(one in the center and 6 in the first ring) leaves a difference equal to two of the disks
    and so on as you add more concentric rings of disks
    ..............
    that being said
    would base six be more appropriate for measurements in a circular plane
    .......................
    then on to concentric spheres of spheres of equal size
    ...........
    is anything saved by utilizing a base derived from the shape (area or volumn etc.)of the thing defined?

    confusedly yours
    rod


    Last edited by sculptor; May 9th, 2012 at 05:20 PM.
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  3. #2  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    It is my understanding that base 6 was used by ancient fertile crescent cultures.
    They used base 60. The reason was probably because it has a large number of divisors, which makes arithmetic simpler. In particular it is divisible by 12 - there are (roughly) 12 full moons in a year and there mathematics was developed to serve the needs of astronomy (well, calendar making, actually, but that is based on astronomy).

    if i understand it correctly base 6 was derived from creating consecutive rings of disks of a like size
    1 in the center
    6 in the first ring
    12 in the next ring,
    18 in the next, etc
    I'm not sure how that pattern is useful. A base 6 number system would be based on successive powers (6, 36, 216, etc) in the same way that ours is (10, 100, 1000, etc).

    comparing the area of a circle enscribing the second ring to the areas of the contained 7 disks(one in the center and 6 in the first ring) leaves a difference equal to two of the disks
    and so on as you add more concentric rings of disks
    I can't really follow that - you might need a diagram. It sounds like you might just be saying that circles don't pack perfectly to cover the plane (i.e. there are always gaps)?

    would base six be more appropriate for measurements in a circular plane
    The choice of number base makes no difference (apart from making some arithmetic easier).

    is anything saved by utilizing a base derived from the shape (area or volumn etc.)of the thing defined?
    I don't think so. Although, base 10 is handy for counting fingers and toes.


    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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