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60 (sixty)

One of the most widely used numbers is 60.

 


Explanation

We all know that an hour has 60 minutes. As a child you learn how to calculate with it, and that is quite tricky, because

3:25 h + 1:58 h = 5:23 h

A minute has 60 seconds, and a day has 24 hours. A year has just over 360 days. The number 60 also plays an important role in measurements. Kitchen cabinets have a standard width of 60 cm, and there is really a good reason for that. Sidewalk tiles are 15 cm wide, so there fit 4 in 60 cm.

Is this all coincidence?

Of course not. The ancient Babylonians had a sexagesimal numeral system (in cuneiform) where 60 played a prominent role. They also had a symbol for 10, but had no real decimal system, and just like the old Romans did not have a symbol for 0.

It would be nonsensical to change numbers that have gotten a place in human life. An hour with 100 minutes has many disadvantages. The French dictator Napoleon tried to introduce it, but did not succeed. There are nowadays hours-registration systems where this is used. Absurd.

Also a dozen (12) or a gros (144) do really make sense. Just look at (2 × 12 = 24) or (5 × 12 = 60) and (12 × 12 = 144).

It makes no difference wich numeral system you are using, you can divide the number 60 in many ways, and that is so important.

 


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