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Large numbers

Date: Wed, 16 Nov 94 10:56:16 PST
From: Keith Averell
Subject: grade 3 math

Dear  Dr. Math:

     I am wondering, what is it like to be a college math whiz. Where is your
college located? Oh ya, I want to know what 1,000,000,000,000,000 is?

      Thanks For Your Help  
          Matt Yarbrough 

Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 00:48:28 -0500 (EST)
From: Dr. Ken
Subject: Re: grade 3 math

Hello there!

Let me tell you, it's GREAT to be a college math whiz!

Actually, I'm not sure whether I fit that description or not, but I know I
LOVE MATH!  But I don't want to marry it.  See, I love math the same way
people love music or painting or something like that.  I do it because it is
fun, and I'll keep doing it as long as I can pass it off as real work!

I and the other Math Doctors go to Swarthmore College, which is in
Pennsylvania.  It's very close to the city of Philadelphia.  Can you find
Philadelphia on a map?  The town of Swarthmore is just south (and a little
west) of Philadelphia.  

To tell you the truth, it looks like the number 1,000,000,000,000,000 has a
couple of different names.  I looked it up in a dictionary, and it looks
like in the United States, we say it is one quadrillion.  Here's how it
works in the U.S.:

1,000                         is one thousand.
1,000,000                     is one million.
1,000,000,000                 is one billion.
1,000,000,000,000             is one trillion.
1,000,000,000,000,000         is one quadrillion.

But in Great Britain, this dictionary claims, it works like this:

1,000                         is one thousand.
1,000,000                     is one million.
1,000,000,000,000             is one billion.
1,000,000,000,000,000,000     is one trillion.

So in Great Britain, your number would be "one thousand billion."

For what it's worth.  Anyway, thanks for the questions!

-Ken "Dr." Math
Associated Topics:
Elementary Large Numbers

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