Nov 1, 2011

On the 31st October the world population officially exceeded 7 billion people. This impressive number stimulated some lazy meditation in my mind. This meditation was supported by the existence of several web sites which can calculate the world population at any given date (e.g. http://populationaction.org/Articles/Whats_Your_Number/).
I asked myself how many people were on this poor planet when CNRS and INFN signed the agreement to build Virgo, on June 27 1994 (the answer is 5,644,310,985). This means that since then the population has increased by 19% and there are 2 billion new people.
Continuing on this line we can tell that when the oldest Virgo member was born around 1940 (guess who he is), the population was about 2.30 billion. When I was born in 1944 we numbered 2.34 billion. In 1987, when the Superattenuator prototype located in the Main Building hall was built (and probably the same year the youngest Virgo undergraduate student was born) we numbered 5 billion. When ET is here (not Spielberg’s ET, but our Einstein Telescope) in 2025, we are expected to be close to 8 billion.
Returning to person number 7,000,000,000. If this person was born in Europe, USA or Japan, it is estimated that he has more than a 50% probability of exceeding the age of 100.
My intention is not to derive any philosophy from this but to share with you this information for fun.

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