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Graham's Number


Date: 06/01/99 at 20:24:51
From: Steve
Subject: Largest Significant Number

In my honors Algebra II class at my school the teacher assigned an 
extra credit problem worth a lot of points if we can name the world's 
largest significant number. Can you help me?


Date: 06/02/99 at 12:41:55
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: Largest Significant Number

Hi, Steve.

I believe that by "significant" you mean a number that has an actual 
use. I have read somewhere (possibly in The Book of Numbers, by Conway 
and Guy) that there is a "largest number that arose in the course of a 
genuine proof," and I think it is probably "Graham's Number," 
described here by Susan Stepney in her collection of Factoids:

   Graham's number
  http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~susan/cyc/g/graham.htm   

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Elementary Large Numbers
Elementary Number Sense/About Numbers
Middle School Number Sense/About Numbers

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