Numbers Larger Than Centillion
Date: 04/02/2002 at 05:11:35 From: Lawrence Santiago Subject: Numbers larger than centillion Are numbers like bicentillion, tricentillion, or quadracentillion true or made up? I found the infamous milletillion. With the prefix mille follow the prefixes: micre-, nane-, pike-, femte-, atte-, zepte-, yocte-, followed by -tillion. Could you tell me what you know about numbers beyond centillion?
Date: 04/02/2002 at 08:49:11 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Numbers larger than centillion Hi, Lawrence. I assume you found our FAQ on the topic, Large Numbers and Infinity http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.large.numbers.html and looked at the various links there that go deeper. You will have found that these number names, beyond vigintillion or so, if not even beyond decillion, are by no means "official," and anyone can really make up his own version without much of a challenge. That's because these names are nothing but a curiosity, and are not really used for anything. People make them up just because they like orderliness, and want to see the pattern continued as far as they can. Some just invent their own names, because they recognize that the commonly accepted names are not really as orderly as they like; that is true for example here: Large Numbers - Russ Rowlett http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/large.html where, to my knowledge, the "Greek-based names" are his own invention. In Decillion, Vigintillion, Trigintillion... http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/trichardt12.10.98.html we have a summary of a naming scheme proposed by Conway and Guy to extend the names far beyond those that are normally used. In this scheme, you would use names like "ducentillion" and "trecentillion" for "200 and 300 sets of zeroes," to distinguish them from "duocentillion" for "102". I haven't seen bicentillion in any believable source. You apparently have found other versions that I haven't seen. All of these are "made up," though all of them are attempts to follow an orderly scheme, usually to extend the familiar names to larger and larger bounds. Some are more nonsensical; the page that suggests the "micretillion" seems to come from someone who forgot that "micro-" as a metric prefix means "millionth," not "million"! (Lots of other things on that page are wrong; for example, it is not "hendecillion" but "undecillion," since "hen-" is a Greek prefix that doesn't belong with Latin roots; he spells "vigintillion" and "trigintillion" wrong as well.) That untrustworthy page is Numeric Terms Glossary - D.T. http://members.cts.com/hollywood/d/davidtan/site25/25nterms.htm I would go with Conway and Guy, if only because they are respected mathematicians with knowledge of linguistics as well. This page gives their system again, with more detailed rules and examples: Large Numbers - Robert Munafo http://mrob.com/pub/math/largenum.html The rules for extending up to 10^3000 are given in _The Book of Numbers_ by Conway and Guy. The name is built out of pieces representing powers of 103, 1030 and 10^300, as shown by this table: x 10^3 x 10^30 x 10^300 x 10^3000 x 0 - - - 1 un (n) deci (nx) centi mille 2 duo (ms) viginti (n) ducenti 3 tre (s) (ns) triginta (ns) trecenti 4 quattuor (ns) quadraginta (ns) quadringenti 5 quinqua (ns) quinquaginta (ns) quingenti 6 se (sx) (n) sexaginta (n) sescenti 7 septe (mn) (n) septuaginta (n) septingenti 8 octo (mx) octoginta (mx) octingenti 9 nove (mn) nonaginta nongenti The rules are: - Take the power of 10 you're naming and subtract 3. - Divide by 3. If the remainder is 0, 1 or 2, put one, ten or one hundred at the beginning of your name (respectively). - Break the quotient up into 1's, 10's and 100's. Find the appropriate name segments for each piece in the table. - String the segments together, inserting an extra letter if the letters shown in parentheses at the end of one segment match a letter in parentheses at the beginning of the next. For example: septe(mn) + (ms)viginti = septemviginti. - If the result ends in a, change the a to i. - Add llion at the end. You're done. Many of the resulting names are only slightly different. For example 10^261 is sexoctogintillion and 10^2421 is sexoctingentillion. Then there's 10^309 = duocentillion and 10^603 = ducentillion. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum