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### A Gazillion

```
Date: 06/25/97 at 09:02:59
From: Anonymous
Subject: A Gazillion

What power of 10 is a gazillion?

Thank you,
Bbunko@aol.com
```

```
Date: 06/27/97 at 21:36:06
From: Doctor Mark
Subject: Re: A Gazillion

Well, Bunko, a gazillion is only slightly less than a Mothra-illion.
More seriously, a gazillion is not any power of ten, since it's not a
number.  A "gazillion" (sometimes spelled "bazillion") is just a way
of saying "a really big number," or "a whole lot of..."  It's related
to the word "zillion," which is also not a number, as in "Bill Gates
is a zillionaire, which just means that he has a whole boatload of
money (which he does).

But there are really big numbers that have names, like "centillion,"
which is a 1 followed by 103 zeros, i.e., 10 to the 103rd power.  Or
the slightly smaller "googol," which is a 1 followed by 100 zeros.  To
give you an idea how big that is, it is estimated that there are only
10 to the 80th power of atoms in the whole universe. But the biggest
number that has a normal name is the "googolplex," which is a 1
followed by a googol of zeros. If you lined up all the atoms in the
universe, put a "1" on the first one, and "0" on the rest, you would
still not have written down the number "one googolplex"!

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

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