How Many Zeros in a Googolplex?
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 94 10:22:19 EST From: Barbara Jackson Subject: Googolplex This is a question from Mrs. Jackson's 6th grade math class. We understand what a googol is, but how many zeros are there in a googolplex? We don't get it! Help! Barb Jackson C.W. Otto Middle School Lansing, MI 48906
From: Dr. Sydney Date: Fri, 4 Nov 1994 11:12:17 -0500 (EST) Hello to Mrs. Jackson's 6th Grade Class! Thanks for writing with your math question! Your question about the googolplex is an excellent question. You know that a googol is a 1 with a hundred zeroes behind it, right? We can write a googol using exponents by saying a googol is (10)^(100) If you think about this it will make sense: a 1 with one zero behind it is 10 = 10^1, a 1 with two zeroes behind it is 100 = 10^2, a one with three zeroes behind it is 1000 = 10^3, etc...do you see the pattern? What would a one with 28 zeroes behind it be in terms of powers of ten?. Well, a googolplex is a 1 with a googol zeroes behind it. Another way to think about this is that it is a 1 with (10)^(100) zeroes behind it. Expressing a googolplex using exponents we can say that a googolplex is : 100 10 10 So a googolplex is a really really big number relative to what we usually consider to be "big" numbers in everyday life. However, a googolplex does not come anywhere close to approaching infinity, which is HUGE! Have you ever studied or thought about infinity? You might want to talk about what infinity is - it is a neat concept in math. I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to write back. We hope to hear from you again soon. --Sydney, Dr. "Googol" Math
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 94 12:23:54 EST From: Barbara Jackson Thanks for the prompt reply! The kids have the afternoon off, but this will certainly give them food for thought on Monday. Have a great weekend! Barb Jackson C.W. Otto Middle School
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