MadSci Network: Other

Re: what are the next numbers in a power of ten after a googol

Date: Sun Sep 24 23:42:29 2000
Posted By: Kermit Rose, Staff, Academic Computing Network Services, Florida State University
Area of science: Other
ID: 968603269.Ot

Actually we already had a latin name for a googol.  The latin name for 63
followed by the illion suffix is the formal name for 10 to the 99th power.

Then 10 times that number would be a googol.  The googolplex is 1 followed
by a googol zeroes which is a number too large to assign a meaning to.

We generally do not bother with formal names for really large numbers.  It
is sufficient to use the exponential notation.  We write 1 followed by a
hundred zeroes as 10^100.  We could write 1 followed by a googol zeroes as

The formal nomenclature can be seen on the web page
MathWorld    Number Theory    Numbers

                        Large Number

                        Large decimal numbers beginning with 10 to the 9th
are named according to two mutually conflicting nomenclatures: the American
system (in which the prefix, mil, bil, tri, etc stands for 3 + 3 times the
corresponding number of zeros ) and the British system (in which the
prefix stands for 6 times the number of zeros ).
        However, it should be noted that in more recent years, the
"American" system is now widely used in England as well as in the United
 The following table gives the names assigned to
                        various powers of 10 (Woolf 1982). 

American         British            power of 10
                              means  1 followed by how many zeroes

million          million                 6

billion          milliard                9

trillion         billion                12

quadrillion                             15

quintillion      trillion               18

sextillion                              21

septillion       quadrillion            24

octillion                               27

nonillion        quintillion            30

decillion                               33

undecillion      sextillion             36

duodecillion                            39                   
tredecillion     septillion             42

quattuordecillion                       45

quindecillion     octillion             48

sexdecillion                            51

septendecillion    nonillion            54

octodecillion                           57

novemdecillion     decillion            60     

vigintillion                             63

                   undecillion           66

                   duodecillion          72

                   tredecillion          78

                   quattuordecillion     84

                   quindecillion         90

                   sexdecillion          96 

                  septendecillion      102

                   octodecillion        108

                   novemdecillion       114

                   vigintillion         120

centillion                               303

                    centillion           600    


                        Conway, J. H. and Guy, R. K. The Book of Numbers.
New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 59-62, 1996.

                        Crandall, R. E. "The Challenge of Large Numbers."
Sci. Amer. 276, 74-79, Feb. 1997.

                        Davis, P. J. The Lore of Large Numbers. New York:
Random House, 1961.

                        Knuth, D. E. "Mathematics and Computer Science:
Coping with Finiteness. Advances in Our
                        Ability to Compute Are Bringing Us Substantially
Closer to Ultimate Limitations." Science 194,
                        1235-1242, 1976.

                        Munafo, R. "Large Numbers."                        

                        Spencer, J. "Large Numbers and Unprovable
Theorems." Amer. Math. Monthly 90, 669-675, 1983.

                        Woolf, H. B. (Ed. in Chief). Webster's New
Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam,
                        p. 782, 1980.

                                     ) 1996-2000 Eric W. Weisstein and
Wolfram Research, Inc.
                                    Sponsored by Wolfram Research, Inc.,
makers of Mathematica                                                      

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