# Length of a moment of eternity

• dendros
In summary, a little shepherd boy in a fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers poses a riddle about the length of eternity. He describes a mountain made of diamond that takes one hour to climb, one hour to go around, and one hour to go down into. Every hundred years, a bird sharpens its beak on the mountain until it is completely worn away, which the boy equates to the passing of the first second of eternity. Using this information, it is possible to calculate the dimensions of the mountain and the length of a second of eternity, although the question of defining eternity and the practicality of wearing away diamond with a bird's beak make the answer somewhat pointless. In the end, eternity may be more bearable than

#### dendros

I have read a short story by the Grimm Brothers, named "The Sheperd Boy" and there is a riddle that sounds like this:

"The third question is, How many seconds does eternity have?"

The little shepherd boy said, "The Diamond Mountain is in Lower Pomerania, and it takes an hour to climb it, an hour to go around it, and an hour to go down into it. Every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on it, and when the entire mountain is chiseled away, the first second of eternity will have passed."

So we have a mountain made of pure diamond, and it takes 1 hour to climb it, 1 hour to go around it and 1 hour to go down into it (I assume from its peak to its base). And every 100 years a little bird comes to sharpen its beak on it and after the entire mountain is reduces to dust in this way, a second of eternity would have passed.

So, using this info, is it possible to deduce the dimensions (in meters) of this mountain and how long a second of eternity would be? Of course, by using math and the actual laws of physics (e.g the physical properties of diamond and the bird's beak, the friction, the speed of a walk, etc. For this problem, ignore the problem of the lifespan of that bird).
Just for fun.

The Grimm brothers wrote fairy tales. Grim ones
But they don't say it's the same bird. Just "a little bird"
If the mountain's circumference is 5 km, it doesn't take one hour to climb it -- unless it's a sky scraper.
And diamond doesn't wear from a bird's beak.
And the first second of eternity lasts exactly one second. So does the second.
etc.

256bits and russ_watters
dendros said:
Length of a moment of eternity
Roughly 1/infinity.

256bits and hutchphd
BvU said:
... lasts exactly one second. So does the second.
Makes sense. The second second lasting a second. So does the third, fourth, fifth,.. second last a second.
Not sure about the second to last second.

Well, the sheperd boy equates the length of the first second of eternity with the amount of time required to completely wear that diamond mountain. I'm not a native English speaker but I think that in this text "second of eternity" means "a moment of eternity".
The question was: it's possible to calculate that amount of time? Assuming that the diamond does wear when the bird sharpens its beak on it, because of friction (albeit very slowly, losing perhaps a few hundred molecules at every 100 years).
That's all.

PhanthomJay
Even if you COULD make such a vague calculation (and I don't think you can), what would be the point? Make up a number that satisfies you and be happy with that.

russ_watters
The description is obviously metaphorical.

(t Big Bang 1 - t Big Bang 0) * 365 days * 24 hours * 60 minutes * 60 seconds = # of seconds.
Don't forget adjustments to account for the expanding Universe, leap years, and other minor things.

But you have to define *eternity* to begin with.

Your first step is to work out how much the surface of a diamond is eroded when rubbed by the material of a birds beak - I doubt it is even a tangible amount.

Heaven Sent brought me here. How many seconds in eternity? The powerful metaphor of the fable is admired by many. In some versions the mountain has dimensions of 2,5 miles. Being a mountain let's assume it is not a cube, but a pyramid. Its volume then would be (2.53)/3 i.e. about 5.208333 cubic miles or 21.71 km3. Which is a fairly big diamond. Now the only thing missing is to estimate the volume of one-beak-sharpening-worth of erosion. Conventional unit of the diamond crystal lattice is a cube of an edge length 0.3567 nm. [https://lampx.tugraz.at/~hadley/ss1/crystalstructure/structures/diamond/diamond.php]
Which corresponds to the volume of 0.045384685263 nm3 or 0.045384685263*10-1728 km3. Let the birdie take this minimum amount each 100 years. Now divide the volumes and we get 4.7835519568313812325313425849327*101730centuries or roughly 5*101732 years. For comparison, our universe is about 1.4*1010 years old. So, to sum it all up, one second of eternity is very roughly about 101723 ages of the universe.

some bloke said:
Your first step is to work out how much the surface of a diamond is eroded when rubbed by the material of a birds beak - I doubt it is even a tangible amount.
Dr. Locard disagrees with you.

He's the guy who said any contact between a perpetrator and a scene will leave some traces of the scene on on the perp.

256bits
If you were a normal human, this
Cooky Monstr said:
Now divide the volumes and we get 4.7835519568313812325313425849327*101730centuries
would astound me with its precision but since you were sent here by god, well ...

BillTre
DaveC426913 said:
Dr. Locard disagrees with you.

He's the guy who said any contact between a perpetrator and a scene will leave some traces of the scene on on the perp.
And contact with a perp and a scene will leave traces of the perp at the scene.
The mountain of diamond could end up to stay as a mountain, but a mountain of bird beak

It felt right to leave silly amount of decimal places in a silly calculation. "Heaven Sent" is an episode of Dr. Who.

White Hole
Cooky Monstr said:
Which corresponds to the volume of 0.045384685263 nm3 or 0.045384685263*10-1728 km3
Something went wrong here, it's only a factor 10^(-36) to go from nm^3 to km^3

willem2 said:
Something went wrong here, it's only a factor 10^(-36) to go from nm^3 to km^3
Right. I got carried away :-) It would be only 5*1040 years. Eternity is quite bearable after all.

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Whew!

phinds
dendros said:

### Length of a moment of eternity​

1 / [Jeremy Bearimy]

## What is the length of a moment of eternity?

The length of a moment of eternity is a philosophical concept and cannot be measured in traditional units of time. It is often described as an infinite or eternal moment, beyond the constraints of our understanding of time.

## Is a moment of eternity the same as infinity?

While both concepts deal with the idea of endlessness, a moment of eternity is often seen as a single, unchanging moment that stretches on forever, while infinity is a continuous and unending sequence of events.

## Can a moment of eternity be experienced?

Some philosophies and religions believe that a moment of eternity can be experienced through meditation or spiritual enlightenment. However, it is not a physical or tangible experience and cannot be measured or proven.

## How does the concept of a moment of eternity relate to the theory of relativity?

The theory of relativity states that time is relative and can be affected by factors such as gravity and velocity. This challenges the idea of a fixed and unchanging moment of eternity, as time is not constant in the theory of relativity.

## What is the significance of considering the length of a moment of eternity?

The concept of a moment of eternity allows us to contemplate the infinite and the idea of time beyond our human understanding. It can also prompt discussions about the nature of time, reality, and our place in the universe.