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End of the Universe Clock Built in Minecraft

by Kenny Hoeschen

Although we’re not yet certain how the universe will end, we do know that one of three scenarios is likely to happen and the universe we know will end at some point far in the future. One enterprising person decided to build a countdown clock in Minecraft that will count down to that end — at which time it will open a door.

The builder decided that the time until the end of the universe is 1 googol years, or 1 x 10^100 years, which seems as good as any number as far as we’re concerned. We’re not Minecraft players, but, as far as we can understand, the clock was created by serially connecting a series of hoppers, each of which counts to 320 then sends a signal to the next hopper to increment itself by one. He had to use the math to determine how many hopper clocks to string together to reach his 1 googol years goal. Turns out, the answer is 43 (for the love of Pete, why couldn’t it be 42, that would be so much better!). To put the scale in perspective, it will take almost 9 billion years for the 7th clock to fire its first pulse.

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