Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Big Numbers

And that headline is exactly what I put into Google. I cant believe this is for real. This site must be for 8-year-old lottery dreamers or something. I sure hope it is, because the only other explanation is that inflation will now be much worse than expected.

Now, don't imagine I'm complaining or anything. I'm used to small, temporary money shortages, having to sometimes say something like, "We can't go out until after payday, I only have $120." But imagine having to say:

"No extras this week, I only have
two hundred thirty-four quattuordecillion,
seven hundred sixty-two tredecillion,
three hundred forty-six duodecillion,
seven hundred twenty-three undecillion,
four hundred sixty-eight decillion,
four hundred fifty-eight nonillion,
six hundred forty-five octillion,
eight hundred sixty-four septillion,
three hundred eighty-five sextillion,
eight hundred twenty-four quintillion,
five hundred eighty-six quadrillion,
two hundred seventy-eight trillion,
four hundred sixty-seven billion,
two hundred nine million,
eight hundred seventy-two thousand,
nine hundred sixty-seven 'til payday.
Might have a few septillion in the couch
but that's it."

I can't imagine any other practical use to be able to recite numbers that large.

Number text source: Big Numbers


arto said...

What about counting the number of people with specks of dust in their eyes? Apparently there's loads of 'em...

mr. rake said...

Oh, did that deal work out? There's 3^^^3 people out there now? Now people are gonna get evicted to house the 2010 Olympic guests for sure. Much larger crowd than expected, for sure.

What I actually wanted to know when I was looking up big numbers, was, is there any actual use for them at all? And if so, are they ones that are convient to notate like 3^^^3. I'm not really interested in how to say comparatively comparatively small numbers like 999 centillion in English. I'm wondering if, for engineering, or theoretical physics, if a number was needed that's the same sort of gigantic size as say, 3^^^3, or 5^^^3, but an exact quantity that's not as easy to note as that? How do they write it? Do they add and subtract easier numbers to write until they're close enough to add a number that's only, say. 180,000 digits long, instead of 10 centillion and change?

arto said...

Well, I guess by that point, you'd just call it like 1.87635*10^38 or whatever and call that good enough... but I ain't no PHD.

And you might need all the precision you could handle for some applications, like singing "999 centillion bottles of beer on the wall."

Rake said...

Lol. 999 centillion bottles of beer!

Waking up in a lake of puke the next morning going, "Fuck...hadda say, biggest number I could think of..."

I dunno either, but I mean when rounding is unacceptable.

Raine said...

Interesting to know.