(Taken up on Wikipedia)
Googol is the large number 10 exponent 100, that is, the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros (in decimal representation). The term was coined in 1920 by nine-year-old Milton Sirotta (1911â€“1981), nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner.[1] 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.
Googol is of 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. 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
= 10 exponent 100
= 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
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9 Nov. 2007