Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My E Number

A couple of weeks ago there was a wonderful TV programme on Einstein and Eddington.

Einstein is one of the most famous men of the Twentieth Century, and his image is an icon, but of Eddington I knew nothing. I had no idea that it was his observations, confirming the deflection of light, which caused worldwide headlines about the proof of relativity and made Einstein a celebrity. More to the point I knew nothing about the strength of character that allowed him to pursue a scientific truth in the face of wartime hostility to anything German. He was certainly a great man whose life should be celebrated.

There is though very little scope for astrophysics in a running blog (even if I knew anything about the subject). However Arthur Eddington was also a keen cyclist and kept detailed records of all of his rides and developed the concept of the ‘Eddington Number’. This is the definition from Wikipedia:

The Eddington Number in this context is defined as E, the number of days a cyclist has cycled more than E miles. For example an Eddington Number of 70 would imply that a cyclist has cycled more than 70 miles in a day on 70 occasions. Achieving a high Eddington number is difficult since moving from, say, 70 to 75 will probably require more than five new long distance rides since any rides between 70 and 74 miles will no longer be included in the reckoning.

The construct of the Eddington Number for cycling is identical to the h-index that quantifies both the actual scientific productivity and the apparent scientific impact of a scientist.

This can be applied to running. (As I can’t be bothered to get out my old diaries I will only look at the annual number). This year I have run more than 6.5 miles 24 times but my E number is 10.

For someone who prepared for a marathon during the year this is not high enough. I thus have a new challenge: raise my annual E number. I must run longer more often.


jogblog said...

So not all E numbers are bad then?

Highway Kind said...

Only if it's a low one

Phil said...

I saw it. I don't watch much TV these days but i made a point of seeing that. Great stuff :)