Allen Klinger, © 8/15/2011

"Edward Kasner once asked his nine-year-old nephew (Milton Sirotta) to invent a name for a very large number, ten to the power of one hundred; and the boy called it a googol. He thought this was a number to overflow people's minds, being bigger than anything that can ever be put into words. Another mathematician then shot back with Googolplex, and defined it to be 10 to the power of Googol" (quotes from Googolplex).

But

A full discussion of the issue raised here, the words for very large numbers, appears in Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard K.,

The following very large number was found by Peter Montgomery. [Further information: see New Number and Modulo n.] It is the second known example of an integer number n such that n | 2^n -3 (n evenly divides 2 raised to the nth power, that result then reduced by 3).

63130707451134435989380140059866138830623361447484274774099906755 =

63,130,707,451,134,435,989,380,140,059,866,138,830,623,361,447,484,274,774,099,906,755 =

63 vigintillions, 130 novemdecillions 707 octodecillions, 451 septendecillions, 134 sexdecillions, 435 quindecillions, 989 quattuordecillions, 380 tredecillions, 140 duodecillions, 59 undecillions, 866 decillions, 138 nonillions, 830 octillions, 623 septillions, 361 sextillions, 447 quintillions, 484 quadrillions, 274 trillions, 774 billions, 99 millions, 906 thousands, 755 (see below re V. Ramirez).

George Hernandez wrote about some of these size words

B - Byte. Eight bits, equivalent to one character. See also b.

b - Bit. A contraction of 'binary' and 'digit.' All computer information consists of combinations of the binary digits 0 and 1 ... Bits and bytes are often expressed in multiples approximating metric system prefixes: k (kilo, 10

The IEEE has suggested that small prefixes refer to decimal powers (e.g., kb = 1000 b) and capital prefixes refer to binary powers (eg Kb = 1024 b) but practically no one is consistent with this. (Source: George Hernandez accessed 8/15/11.)

The following was communicated by Victor Ramirez, a UCLA senior:

"I found out how to say the large number. I separated it by commas to make it easier. Here's the names of the places ..." :

63, 10

130, 10

707, 10

451, 10

134, 10

435, 10

989, 10

380, 10

140, 10

059, 10

866, 10

138, 10

830, 10

623, 10

361, 10

447, 10

484, 10

274, 10

774, 10

099, 10

906, 10

755 10

The above material is from an electronic mail message sent by Mr. Ramirez dated 28 February 2002.

Search led to the following site: Large Place Values (source of the tables below). A dictionary confirmed one of the above definitions (although there are still variations between English/French and American definitions and usage).

quadrillions 10

quintillions 10

sextillions 10

septillions 10

octillions 10

nonillions 10

decillions 10

undecillions 10

duodecillions 10

15 August 2011 Version |
http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~klinger/sizewords.html | |||

©2011 Allen Klinger |