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Word Problems

Browse Elementary Large Numbers
Stars indicate particularly interesting answers or good places to begin browsing.

Selected answers to common questions:
    Googol, googolplex.
    Place value.
    Scientific notation.

Decillion, Vigintillion, Trigintillion... [12/10/1998]
Could you please complete the following pattern? 1 with 33 zeros after it is a decillion; 1 with 63 zeros is a vigintillion...

How Big is a Googol? [03/02/2003]
Is there any way to hold a googol in your hands?

Infinity a Concept, Not a Number [03/16/2003]
If 1 chocolate bar is divided among an infinite number of people, no one gets anything. Where did the chocolate bar go? Doesn't it imply that 1/infinity = infinitesimally small?

Names for Big Numbers [02/11/1997]
We are wondering about the names for large numbers whose names end in "illion."

Numbers Larger Than Centillion [04/02/2002]
Are numbers like bicentillion, tricentillion, or quadracentillion true or made up?

One Followed by One Hundred and Eleven Zeros [1/11/1995]
Is there a name for the number 1 followed by 111 zeros?

Perfect Numbers - Basics, History [11/3/1996]
What is the next perfect number after 28?

Prime Numbers [01/31/1997]
What are the prime numbers and why are they prime numbers?

Scientific Notation [08/19/1997]
Write these numbers in scientific notation: 55000, 0.55, x...

What is the Largest Number? [11/14/1995]
We are a 3/4 class, studying large numbers. We have a question for you. We want to know what the highest number is.

9^9^9 [09/10/1997]
How in the world to do 9 ^ 387420489?

After Googol [1/12/1995]
Is there a number that comes after googol?

Age Classifications [08/24/2001]
I'm trying to complete a table for age classes (octogenarian = 80s, nonagenarian = 90s, etc.).

American vs. European Billion [07/30/2000]
Why are there differences between the American and the European systems for naming large numbers?

Beyond a Zillion [8/29/1996]
What comes after a zillion?

Calculators and e+ [09/27/1998]
What does the "e+" mean on a calculator?

Converting Bits to Megabytes [02/12/2001]
The human brain will store 100 trillion bits in its lifetime. How many million megabytes can your brain store?

Do Numbers Go On Forever? [04/08/2002]
Do numbers go on forever, or do they stop? What is the largest number that has a name? What's the best way to explain infinity to a kindergartener?

Egg Doubling Problem; UK & US: Naming Large Numbers [5/6/1996]
The sixtieth time you double them, you have a lot of eggs! How many rectangles would they fill if each egg is one unit?

Evaluating Large Numbers [06/11/1998]
How do you evaluate 2^71 * 3? Can you use logarithms?

Explaining Scientific Notation [10/21/2002]
Could you try to explain scientific notation to me?

A Gazillion [06/25/1997]
What power of 10 is a gazillion?

Googol Factorial [11/09/1996]
What is googol factorial?

Googol, Kasner, and Milton Sirotta [07/14/1999]
Who coined the phrase "googleplex," and when?

Googolplex: Sheets of Paper [11/18/1997]
Can you tell me how many sheets of paper it will take to make a googolplex if you can have 20,000 zeros on each page?

Government-Issued Identity Crisis? [01/26/2011]
Is the United States on the verge of running out of Social Security Numbers? After revealing that the Social Security Administration actually has a system for assigning SSNs, Doctor Wallace clears up the combinatoric calculations, then predicts how much longer the available pool will last.

Graham's Number [06/01/1999]
What is the world's largest significant number?

How Big is a Googolplex? [05/29/2003]
Is there anything on Earth that is as big as a googolplex?

How Many Digits in Graham's Number? [11/11/2005]
I have heard that Graham's number is the largest number with mathematical use. I have seen it expressed in arrow notation but that does not give me a sense of how large it is. Is there a way to express the number of digits it contains?

How Many Zeros in a Googolplex? [11/4/1994]
We understand what a googol is, but how many zeros are there in a googolplex?

Large numbers [11/16/1994]
What is it like to be a college math whiz? What is 1,000,000,000,000,000?

The Largest Number [10/22/1995]
What is the largest number in the world?

The Largest Numbers in the World [11/21/2005]
When I was in 8th grade my math teacher said duodecillion was the largest number of anything in the world that is measurable. Can you tell me what that 'thing' is that measures a duodecillion? What's the biggest number we know of or use?

The Last Finite Number? [02/01/2004]
I just read an article about the "last finite number", and I was wondering whether such a number could possibly exist.

Mental Math [07/25/2003]
I would like to find a trick for multiplying by 3367.

More 0's in a Googolplex than Atoms on Earth? [06/06/2001]
Is it true that there are more zeros in a googolplex than there are atoms in the earth?

Multi-Digit Decimal Numbers [09/07/2001]
How should I say the number 0.0072973525220505560582620625237164 aloud?

Multiplying Billions [12/17/1997]
How do you multiply 50 billion by 55 septillion?

Multiplying Numbers Written in Scientific Notation [06/27/2004]
How do I multiply two numbers that are written in scientific notation?

Names of Large Numbers [9/14/1996]
Are there numbers between a vigintillion and a centillion?

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