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The power of powers - The Paranoid Android
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
paranoidandroid
paranoidandroid
The power of powers
I was watching Geek TV™ on the weekend and the subject of large numbers came up.

The is no limit to the size numbers can get to - after all you can always add one - but the largest named number is the googolplex.

A googol is 10 to the power of 100.  That is 10 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

A googolplex is 10 to the power of a googol.

The mind has problems comprehending large numbers.  We know that a mile is a long way.  We think we know the distance to the moon is a very long way.  They may be a few people who realise the fact that the sun is a long way away.  Even Stephen Hawkins probably has problems comprehending the true size of the cosmos (about 156 billion light years is the current estimate.)

If a googolplex was written out on both sides of a sheet of A4 paper (that's a little bit like the "letter" size for you American guys) in Arial 8 (which is smaller than the font size you are reading this in) the stack of paper would be taller than the universe is wide.  Many times taller.  So many times taller that you'd need a stack of paper as tall as the universe is wide to write down how many times.

Just to write down the number of sheets of paper it would require to write down how many times taller the stack would be would require a stack of paper bigger than the width of the universe.  Repeat.

It is estimated that there is not enough matter in the universe to write a googolplex out in full.  Even if you could convert every scrap of matter into paper and ink.

But you can write it out with powers as 10101010.   Powerful those powers.

I love Geek TV™

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