Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Do you know about googol?

What's the biggest number in the World? Quick think about it. What did you come up with? I can easily beat you at this game by adding 1 to any number you thought up. To many of you this is obvious, but to others thinking about big numbers and extremely large quantities may be tough to comprehend.

In our article "A Different Way To Look At Money" we showed you what up to one quintillion pennies looks like in real life. A quintillion is the number 1 followed by 18 zeros. This is quite a large number to imagine and you need a very small subject like a penny to demonstrate it's size.

Do you know about a googol? We don't mean the technologically advanced search engine with a billion users. We are talking about the number googol which just happens to be a 1 followed by 100 zeros. To us this is an absurdly long number just about unimaginable but there are bigger numbers still, infinite possibilities.

For a wonderful explanation of the googol check out this thought provoking video by Numberphile with Antonio Padilla and Ria Symonds from the University of Nottingham.

Another interesting fact that may drive you mad is that although a googol is insanely larger than the number 1 they are both an equal distance from infinity.



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