To try and deal with

all this crazy monkey talk I would propose a small examination into what would happen given a large but finite amount of monkeys. As much as I would like to answer the question about

infinite monkeys, I can't

imagine an infinite amount of monkey's, let alone figure out what to do with all that monkey shit.

So let's hypothesize for a moment. We don't want to try for the entire play of Hamlet just yet, lets just go for the phrase "To be or not to be". Count up the letters and spaces and we get 18 characters.

**# of chars** = 18

Perhaps it may be possible to sequester a million monkeys, that is a lot, but we are prepared to make a commitment here.

**Monkeys** = 10^{6}

To go with our million monkeys we have a million 47 key typewriters. 10 keys are punctuation, 10 keys are numbers, 26 keys are letters, and 1 key is a space.

**# of keys** = 47

Let us also assume that we have specially trained monkeys, they only hit random keys and they type a startling 10 characters per second. If we have 18 characters we can give the monkeys a little extra time every now and then and assume that they type all 18 characters (or one attempt) every 2 seconds.

**Single attempt** = 2 seconds

### The Calculation

Okay so we have basic

counting principles tell us that the total number of possible outcomes for hitting one key is 47. If you're hitting two keys its 47 * 47. For 18 key presses we have 47

^{18}. Make sense so far?

**# of key combinations** = 47

^{18}
If you are rolling a 6 sided die, you assume that it will take 6 rolls to (almost assuredly) get any particular number you would like. So we will likewise assume that it will take the full 47^{18} tries to type out Shakespeare's most famous line.

Recal that it takes 2 seconds for one try at typing the line.

# of key combinations * seconds per attempt = time to complete

47^{18} * 2 = 2.5 * 10^{30} seconds

**Time to complete** = 2.5 * 10^{30} seconds

Okay, don't forget that there are a million monkeys trying this, so divide that time number by a million.

Time to complete / # of monkeys = time to complete for a million monkeys.

2.5 * 10^{30} / 1^{6} = 2.5 * 10^{24} seconds.

Almost there!

Seconds is not very useful, so lets convert to years. There are 31,557,600 seconds in a year (assuming 365.25 days in a year). So we divide again to get years.

2.5 * 10^{24} / 31,557,600 = 7.9 * 10^{16} years.

The rough age of the universe, (according to the NASA WMAP project^{1}) is estimated to be approximately 13.7 3billion years.

7.9 * 10^{16} / 13.7^{9} = 4.64 * 10^{6}ages of the universe.

So what does that number mean?

It means that with our million monkeys, you would have to wait

### 4.6 million times the age of the universe

in order to see "To be or not to be" typed out nicely on a piece of paper. Based on this

estimate, I really wouldn't hold your breath for the complete works of Shakespeare.

unless we could get a billion monkeys! and maybe get rid of those 10 punctuation keys, so lets see that's 37 keys...

^{1} Nasa WMAP Mission Results - http://wmap.gsfc.nasa.gov/news/index.html