Re: A not-so-simple concept

In his editorial Dr J.A. Wilson asks “What is the smallest increment of time and what measurable characteristics determine the physical nature of the smallest increment?”

In other words “Is there a period of time so short that it cannot be subdivided?” (BCMJ 2002;44[9]:460).

In 1900 Max Planck, whilst studying black body radiation, related time to energy with energy increasing as the wavelength shortened. At Planck Time (5.39 x 10-44 seconds) the energy rises and since energy and mass (Planck Mass 2.177 x 10-8) are interrelated the mass at any shorter time would generate a mini black hole which would be subject to Hawking radiation and which would also be immeasurable due to the Hiesinger Uncertainty Principle.

The practical effect of Planck’s work was that it laid the foundations for the quantum theory and quantum mechanics will have an extremely important place in the new nanotechnology.

I treasure the graffiti scrawled on the washroom wall in Oxford University. It read “Hiesinger was or wasn’t here; that’s for certain.”

—H. Ewart Woolley, MD

H. Ewart Woolley, MD. Re: A not-so-simple concept. BCMJ, Vol. 45, No. 1, January, February, 2003, Page(s) 10 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

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