From the April 2012 issue

Carry around the universe’s top numbers

Now you can print out and keep tabs on some of science’s most important figures in style.
By | Published: April 23, 2012 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
My June story, “The 6 most important numbers in the universe,” centered on the most significant values that come up in astronomy. From the austerely unbreakable speed of light to the almost playfully simple pi, each number was a powerful force toward conquering the mysteries of the universe. With the inclusion of six “bonus” values at the end, these 12 figures could reveal at a glance much of what we’ve learned about the cosmos.

But that doesn’t mean they’re easy to remember individually. It’s one thing to know that G, the gravitational constant, represents the strength of attraction two objects feel for each other due to gravity. It’s another to recall that the actual value is 6.673 x 10–11 N m2/kg2. The story featured various “trading cards” to help visually accent each important number, but they also displayed vital information for each, including their often unwieldy values.

Below, you can print out personal versions of each of these cards for your own use. We hope you enjoy them, whether they become an oft-used resource to remember the facts, a beautiful way to illustrate the universe’s constants, or just a handy reminder of all that astronomy has taught us.

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