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Names for Big Numbers


Date: 02/11/97 at 13:12:15
From: Craig Kesselheim
Subject: Names for big numbers

Dear Dr. Math - 

I've just been working with a team of grade 1 teachers at Bar Harbor, 
Maine, and we are wondering about the names for large numbers whose 
names end in "illion."  After trillion, how far can you go with 
genuine math names (we got to quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion and 
septillion, but after that the dictionary and our own knowledge gave 
out).  

Thanks in advance for your help.

Craig Kesselheim, Science Facilitator
Mt. Desert, ME


Date: 02/13/97 at 20:03:06
From: Doctor Toby
Subject: Re: Names for big numbers

After septillion, and following the same pattern, come:

   octillion
   nonillion
   decillion
   undecillion
   dodecillion,
   tredecillion
   quattuordecillion
   quindecillion
   sexdecillion
   septendecillion
   octodecillion
   novemdecillion
   vigintillion
   unvigintillion
   dovigintillion
   trevigintillion
   quattuorvigintillion
   quinvigintillion
   sexvigintillion
   septenvigintillion
   octovigintillion
   novemvigintillion
   trigintillion
   untrigintillion
   dotrigintillion
   tretrigintillion
   quattuortrigintillion
   quintrigintillion
   sextrigintillion
   septentrigintillion
   octotrigintillion
   novemtrigintillion

You may also want to know about one googol, which is 1 followed by 
100 zeros, or ten dotrigintillion.

A googolplex is 1 followed by a googol zeros. There are not enough 
elementary particles in the known universe to write down a googolplex.
(There are fewer than a trigintillion such particles, but we need to 
make ten dotrigintillion one digits.)

But it also depends on whether you are using the U.S. or the British 
system.  In the U.S., octillion, nonillion, decillion, undecillion, 
dodecillion, tredecillion, quattuordecillion, quindecillion, 
sexdecillion, septendecillion, octodecillion, novemdecillion, take 
you into the 21st period (10^60).  I found vigintillion as the next 
one (10^63) and the largest I could find was centillion (10^303).  
I imagine there is something like milletillion (10^3003) as well 
(1000 tillion). I looked it up - centillion in the British system is 
10^600 (but they have thousand million instead of billion, etc).  

By the way, the power of ten is also the number of places (or zeros) 
following the lead digit.

After vigintillion come unvigintillion, dovigintillion, and so on.
After novemvigintillion comes trigintillion, which is followed by 
untrigintillion through novemtrigintillion.

One googol = 10^100; this is ten dotrigintillion in America or ten 
thousand sexdecillion in Britain.

-Doctor Toby,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Elementary Large Numbers

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