Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long the Human Race Will by Willard Wells

By Willard Wells

Any formulation for predicting human survival will invite controversy. This e-book offers a different research of the possibilities of human survivability within the brief and long-term. It develops a formulation for survival according to 4 separate measures.

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Additional resources for Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long the Human Race Will Survive (Springer Praxis Books Popular Science)

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The solid curve represents the next level of uncertainty. It tells us the survival probability of a single atom drawn at random from the batch of ®cticium. You know the isotopic abundances and the half-life of each, but you do not know which isotope you drew. The same solid curve also represents the surviving fraction of the original mixture (as we shall see in the next section). Now consider another case, in which the isotopes are separated into four bulk samples. You draw one of these samples at random, not knowing which one it is.

It includes many that are 400 years old, mostly Shakespearean. One play dates back to the 15th century. London, however, was an important town in the 10th century and surely citizens of that time performed some sort of shows on stage. Recorded drama dates back to Play of Saint Catherine, Dunstable, about 1110. If the mean duration were truly in®nite, we should expect an occasional performance from that time, but we ®nd none. The gap from 10th to 15th century represents a correction to the mean from in®nity to a duration that is long but ®nite.

The fourth approach begins with a trivial formula for the probability of an entity's age if we already know its duration. It then uses Bayes' theorem to invert this formula and obtain what we really want, the probability of duration given age. In the following section we proceed to examine one of the theoretical approaches. 1 MULTIPLE HAZARD RATES A radioactive atom has a constant hazard rate, a ®xed chance of expiring per unit time regardless of its age. Its familiar decay law is the exponential curve in Figure 2.

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