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

 


History

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).


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