10. 6 degrees of separationJuly 9, 2013
You are, according to mathematicians, 1 degree of separation away from anyone you know. Then two degrees from people they know and son on.
Professor of mathematics Jason Brown explained in the Chronicle Herald, California, how the 6 degrees of separation theory works:
For example, suppose that you are or have been acquainted with, say, 400 people. Each of those may know 400 others, giving rise to about 400 times 400, or 160,000 people, you may know in two steps.
This is exponential growth.
Assuming we each know 400 people.
x = total number of people involved.
n = degrees of separation
x = 400n
If n = 6
x = 4006
x = 4 x 1015
As the population of the earth is only 7 Billion or 7 x 109, it seems likely that we can be linked to anyone else on earth in less than 6 degrees of separation, 4 maybe.
6 degrees of separation Myth busted.
Here is an awesome Middle School Maths PDF from PBS MATHONLINE based on Rumours.
It is an excellent introduction to exponential functions.