This question initially arose while translating a technical document from German. The original text was 'physikalische Heizzonenummer', literally 'physical heating-zone-number'.
My immediate reaction was to think of heating zones which are numbered 1 to n but which can be addressed in other 'logical' ways. However, the German does seem to mean that the number itself is 'physical'. For me, a number is a concept and cannot be physical (except for those digits you can screw on to your front door). You can have a group of physical apples or heating zones but a number allocated to each one is surely in itself not physical itself.
Am I wrong here? Perhaps the original German is a bit clumsy and imprecise but it just set me wondering about the concept of numbers. I would be interested to hear other opinions :-)