How Big is a Googol? Definition and Example

Ten-duotrigintillion


How big is a googol? A googol, also called ten-duotrigintillion, is a very big number that is equal to 1 followed by 100 zeros as shown below.

10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

000000000000000000000000000000000000

10000000000000000000000000000000000

000000000000000000000000000000000

000000000000000000000000000000000

In scientific notation, a googol can be written as 10100

We can use commas to make the googol number a little easier to read.

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

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

How big is a googol in terms of what we already know? Putting the size of a googol into perspective


1 googol = 1010 × 1010 × 1010 × 1010 × 1010  × 1010  × 1010  × 1010  × 1010  × 1010

1 googol = ten billion × ten billion × ten billion × ten billion × ten billion × ten billion × ten billion × ten billion × ten billion × ten billion

1 googol = 1020 × 1020 × 1020 × 1020 × 1020

Notice that 1020 = 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 100 × 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 100 × 1 quintillion

Therefore, 1 googol = one hundred quintillion × one hundred  quintillion × one hundred quintillion × one hundred quintillion × one hundred quintillion

Who invented the term googol?


The googol number was chosen or invented by the nephew of the American mathematician Edward Kasner. In the late 1930s, as Edward Kasner was working with large numbers, he asked his nine years old nephew Milton Sirotta what he might call the number 10100. Milton Sirotta named it googol!

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