Saturday, 17 May 2008

The Googolplex

Impossible Numbers

You've heard of a million. You've heard of a billion. Hell, you've probably even heard of a septillion. But have you heard of a Googol? You might have done, and for those of you who haven't, a googol is 1 followed by a hundred zeros.

So you've heard of a googol but have you heard of a googolplex?

A googolplex it 1 followed by a googol zeros, which is a hell of a lot of digits. A google and one digits in fact. I would love to be able to write the numbers instead of the words, but i can't. In fact no one can, it's impossible. There isn't enough matter in the universe to write down a googolplex, even if every single atom was converted into ink and paper or even a computer hard-drive.

That's right, this number would even baffle computers, and I have the proof.

The Googolplex inspired me to try and see how high i could count using a computer. I opened up word and started entering numbers. I managed to make a 290 page word document containing 1,000,001 digits before the program completely crashed.

And I have a feeling the crash was something to do with me trying to paste 9,000,000 digits into word. If it'd managed that I would've had a 2900 page document containing 10,000,001 digits. And that's around 6% the size of a googolplex, so you do the math.

On the bright side though, it is possible to write a googol!

And for those of you wondering, yes Google the search engine is named after this number, only spelled differently. In fact, the Google headquaters in LA are called the Googleplex, which is short for Google Complex.

~Bee(to the power of googol)

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