# Dictionary Definition

googol n : a cardinal number represented as 1
followed by 100 zeros (ten raised to the power of a hundred)

# User Contributed Dictionary

## English

### Etymology

Made up in 1938 by the nine year old Milton Sirrota, the nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner.### Pronunciation

- Rhymes: -uːɡəl

# Extensive Definition

A googol is the large number
10100, that is, the digit 1
followed by one hundred zeros (in
decimal representation).
The term was coined in 1938 by 9-year-old Milton Sirotta, nephew of
Edward Kasner (Kasner 1989, pp. 20-27; Bialik 2004). Kasner then
extended the term to the larger "googolplex." Kasner popularized
the concept in his book Mathematics and the Imagination
(1940).

Googol is of the same order of
magnitude as the factorial of 70 (70! being
approximately 1.198 googol, or 10 to the power 100.0784), and its
only prime
factors are 2 and 5 (100 of each). In binary
it would take up 333 bits. A
googol has no particular significance in mathematics, but is useful
when comparing with other incredibly large quantities such as the
number of subatomic particles in the visible universe or the number
of possible chess games.
Edward
Kasner created 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 can be written in conventional notation
as follows:

- 1 googol
- = 10100
- = 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

## Googolplex

A googolplex is the number one followed by one googol zeroes, or ten raised to the power of one googol:- 10googol = 10(10100).

In the documentary
Cosmos, physicist and broadcast personality Carl Sagan
estimated that writing a googolplex in numerals (i.e.,
"1,000,000,000...") would be physically impossible, since doing so
would require more space than the known universe occupies.

Thomen's number, named for ancient mathematical
philosopher Robbeas Thomen, is the number googolplex raised to the
power of one googolplex:

- googolplexgoogolplex = (1010100)1010100.

Of course, at the time this number was concieved
by Thomen, such notation was far advanced. Thomen believed that at
this number, mathematics became superimposed against supernatural
philosophy as numbers this big cannot possibly apply to humankind
but to the gods themselves. At the time Thomen concieved
possibility for such a number, most civilizations had not even
incepted zero into their number systems. This makes Thomen's number
incredibly conceptually advanced for its time.

## Googol and comparable large numbers

A googol is greater than the number of atoms in
the observable
universe, which has been variously estimated from 1079 up to
1081 . Less than a googol Planck times
have elapsed since the Big Bang (the
current figure stands at around 8×1060 Planck times). From the
previous two figures, it can be seen that a list of where every
particle is at every possible discernible unit of time since the
Big Bang
would contain over a googol entries, but still far less than a
googolplex: around 8 × 10140.

A little googol is 2100 (about 1.268), or
1,267,650,600,228,229,401,496,703,205,376, while a little
googolplex is 2^ or about 10^.

Avogadro's
number, 6.02214179, is exactly the number of 12C
atoms in 12 grams (0.012 kg) of unbound 12C in its ground state. It
is perhaps the most widely known large number from chemistry and physics. Avogadro's number is
less than the fourth root of a googol.

Black holes
are presumed to evaporate because they faintly give off Hawking
radiation; if so, a supermassive
black hole would take about a googol years to evaporate.

Seventy factorial, or 70!, is "just
1.19785717 × 10100. This means that there are
over a googol ways to arrange seventy items (or people) in a
sequence (such as a line to a concert).

The Shannon
number, 10120, a rough lower bound on the number of possible
chess games, is more than a googol.

A googol is considerably less than the number
described in the ancient Archimedes'
story of The Sand
Reckoner, namely \left((10^8)^\right)^=10^. But it should be
noted that the system invented by Archimedes is
reminiscent of a positional
numeral system with base 108, so that Archimedes'
number could be written
\left[\left((10)^\right)^\right]_=\left[10^\right]_, that is, one
googol in base 108

On a practical level, googol is perhaps the most
worthless number in existence (next to the Shannon
number).

## In popular culture

Googol was the answer to the million-pound
question: "A number one followed by 100 zeros is known by what
name?" on
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? when Major Charles
Ingram allegedly attempted to defraud the quiz show on 10 September
2001. The
other options were a megatron,
a gigabit or a
nanomole.

Googol is one of the 336 vocabulary words in the
board game Balderdash, and their definition on the back of the card
is "The number one followed by 100 zeros."

In the January 23,
1963 Peanuts strip, Lucy
asks Schroeder what the chances are of them getting married, and
Schroeder responds "Oh, I'd say about 'googol' to one."

In an episode of the animated series
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward, the "Gaminator"
video games system is said to have a "3-googolhertz
processor."

"A googol is precisely as far from infinity as is
the number one." — Carl Sagan,
Cosmos

The company name Google is a
misspelling of the word "Googol" made by founders Larry Page and
Sergey Brin, as described in the book The Google Story by David A.
Vise.

googol in Asturian: Googol

googol in Breton: Gogol

googol in Bulgarian: Гугол

googol in Catalan: Googol

googol in Czech: Googol

googol in Danish: Googol

googol in German: Googol

googol in Modern Greek (1453-): Googol

googol in Spanish: Googol

googol in Esperanto: Guglo

googol in Basque: Googol

googol in French: Gogol (nombre)

googol in Korean: 구골

googol in Croatian: Gugol

googol in Indonesian: Googol

googol in Icelandic: Googol

googol in Italian: Googol

googol in Hebrew: גוגול

googol in Latvian: Gugols

googol in Luxembourgish: Googol

googol in Lithuanian: Gugolas

googol in Hungarian: Googol

googol in Malayalam: ഗൂഗോള്

googol in Dutch: Googol

googol in Japanese: グーゴル

googol in Norwegian: Googol

googol in Norwegian Nynorsk: Googol

googol in Polish: Googol

googol in Portuguese: Googol

googol in Romanian: Googol

googol in Russian: Гугол

googol in Simple English: Googol

googol in Slovak: Googol

googol in Slovenian: Gugol

googol in Serbian: Гугол

googol in Finnish: Googol

googol in Swedish: Googol

googol in Thai: กูกอล

googol in Turkish: Googol

googol in Ukrainian: Гугол

googol in Wu Chinese: 古高尔

googol in Yiddish: גוגאל

googol in Chinese: 古高爾

# Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

astronomical number, billion, decillion, duodecillion, googolplex, infinitude, infinity, jillion, large number, nonillion, novemdecillion, octillion, octodecillion, quadrillion, quattuordecillion,
quindecillion,
quintillion,
septillion, sexdecillion, sextillion, tredecillion, trillion, undecillion, vigintillion, zillion