i said the world ‘google’ the other day and mateo took notice. he’s only 2 so i couldn’t quite explain what a ‘googol’ really is but it was good reason to re-read the wiki article about the googol and the larger googolplex.
so, a googol is 10^100 power, or a 10 with 100 zero’s after it like this:
(in the short scale, it’s actually ten duotrigintillion, which sounds equally impressive)
there is an even bigger number called the googolplex, which is 10^googol. carl sagan estimated that writing a googolplex in numerals would be physically impossible, since doing so would require more space than the known universe provides. that is sexy.
interesting note: the term ‘googol’ was coined by a nine-year-old nephew of a mathematician
interesting note +1: the kids cartoon phineas and ferb live near a mall called the ‘googolplex’
speaking of phineas and ferb, here’s a cool article in wired about the people behind it [wired magazine]