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A googol is the large number 10100, that is, the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros:


The term was coined in 1938[1] by 9-year-old Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. Kasner popularized the concept in his 1940 book Mathematics and the Imagination.

Other names for googol include ten duotrigintillion on the short scale, ten thousand sexdecillion on the long scale, or ten sexdecilliard on the Peletier long scale.

A googol has no particular significance in mathematics, but is useful when comparing with other very large quantities such as the number of subatomic particles in the visible universe or the number of hypothetically possible chess moves. Edward Kasner used it to illustrate the difference between an unimaginably large number and infinity, and in this role it is sometimes used in teaching mathematics.

A googol is approximately 70! (factorial of 70). In the binary numeral system, one would need 333 bits to represent a googol, i.e., 1 googol ≈ 2332.19, or exactly \( 2^{(100/\mathrm{log}_{10}2)}.\)
See also

Large numbers
Names of large numbers



^ Kasner, Edward and Newman, James R. (1940). Mathematics and the Imagination. Simon and Schuster, New York. ISBN 0486417034.

External links

Weisstein, Eric W., "Googol" from MathWorld.
googol at PlanetMath

Mathematics Encyclopedia

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