As adults, we understand that there is no such number – we can always add “one” to any monstrously large number to make it even larger. We can create a number with an endless row of zeros to satisfy our curiosity but, frankly speaking, it’s a waste of time. Numbers should mean something and possess practical utility; in other words, they should be invented to quantify something.
It’s important to know
Large, and larger
- 1011, one hundred billion, is the number of people who have ever lived on Earth;
- 1012, or a trillion, - a trillion seconds ago, mammoths were still alive;
- 1015, or a quadrillion, is the approximate number of ants on Earth;
- 1024, or a septillion, - 1024 kg is the mass of Earth;
- 1026m is the diameter of the observable universe;
- 1051, or a sexdecillion, is the number of atoms our planet composed of;
- There are 1080 elementary particles in the observed universe;
- 10100, or a googol, is just a round number;
- There are 10185 Planck volumes – a Planck volume is a unit of length that can be approximated to 10-35m – in the observable universe. Since the Planck volume is the smallest unit of length, 10185 is the largest number used for quantitation.
- There are numbers larger than 10185 – Graham’s number is so unimaginably large that its digital representation won’t fit in the observable universe, even if each digit will occupy one Planck volume.