Nov 1, 2008
Have you ever had a good look at the source code for Digg.com?
Perhaps you don't even know what the source code for a website is; in that case you may not be interested in this. But for the rest of you, I have found something that is quite strange and there appears to be a comical physicist working on the code at Digg.com.
If you view the source code for digg.com and go down to the very bottom you will notice this line:
-- digg is done serving you. 2.01355321270u 137.03599911 6.6742x10-11m3kg-1s-2 6.6742x10-11m3kg-1s-2 -->
This line was just a comment and will not appear anywhere on the actual website, making it basically useless. But then you start wondering what the significance of these number are, and why someone would waste the time putting these seemingly useless numbers there in the first place.
Of course I am to curious to let this go on without finding some type of explanation so to the search engine I went.
The first number of the series, 2.01355321270u is the atomic mass of the hydrogen isotope known as deuterium. The atomic mass can be defined as the total mass of protons, neutrons and electrons in a single atom, expressed in unified atomic mass units.
The nucleus of deuterium, called a deuteron, contains one proton and one neutron, whereas the far more common hydrogen nucleus contains no neutrons. For more information you can have a look at the Wikipedia page on deuterium.
The second number, 137.03599911 is quite a bit more complicated and is the inverse of the Sommerfeld fine-structure constant. The fine-structure constant is 1/137.03599911, it is the measure of the strength of the electromagnetic force that governs how electrically charged elementary particles (e.g., electron, muon) and light (photons) interact.
I warned you that it was complicated and I am not even going to try to explain that number any further because I know too little about quantum electrodynamics. But feel free to check out this page for more info.
The final 2 numbers in the series are just the same number, 6.6742x10-11m3kg-1s-2, multiplied by itself, making it the square of a number. The number that is being squared is actually pretty common in any type of physics and is known as the Gravitational constant (G). The gravitational constant appears in Newton's law of universal gravitation, but it was not measured until 1798 — 71 years after Newton's death — by Henry Cavendish. For more reading on this check out Wikipedia.
After looking at these number for a while trying to understand the meaning of this equation it finally hit me.
The numbers spell out a secret message D I G G !
You see the numbers represent Deuterium, Inverse of the fine structure constant, G, G
Yes, someone at Digg.com is as much of a geek as me and decided to use science to encrypt a secret message, and now that I have solved it I will be able to sleep at night.
To look at the source of the website go to digg.com and click the view tab and click "page source" (for Firefox of course).