From ProofWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


A googol is defined to be $10^{100}$.

Also see

Historical Note

The googol was apparently invented by a schoolchild writing $1$ followed by $100$ zeroes on a blackboard:


In discussing the googol, Edward Kasner and James Newman point out that the number of grains of sand on Coney Island is approximately $10^{20}$.

It is also estimated that the number of raindrops falling on New York, for example, during the course of a century, is far less than a googol.

The total number of particles in the visible universe, even, has been estimated as between $10^{80}$ and $10^{87}$, again still far less than a googol.

Numbers of this size are really only needed in the field of combinatorics, as was presciently suggested by Kasner and Newman.

Linguistic Note

The word googol was coined by 9-year-old Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner.

Beware the mis-spelling google, which is the name of an internet search engine.