New Scientist, March 2003

Your correspondent Chris Collins (29.3.03) points out the redundancy in a promotional document reference number. The mailing address for “New Scientist” specifies your position on the Earth’s surface to an accuracy of one square nanometer, with enough redundancy left over to deliver the letter to an individual cell in the body of a selected staff member. If the staff member’s name is included in the address, the letter could be delivered to an individual atom in that person’s body (still with some redundancy left over!).

The calculation is simple enough, but let me know if you want more detail. Please send correspondence to the third neuron on the left in the cerebral cortex.

© This article is copyright Len Fisher. Please email Len Fisher to seek permission to reproduce part or all of the above article.

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