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Math Trumps English

People like big things with special properties, even if they are not from Texas. For example, "Aegilops" is the longest English word spelled in alphabetical order....a measely 8-letters-long word for a species of plants!

We can do much better in mathematics. For example, consider these "special" large numbers:

  • "Talking Number": The total number of words spoken by all humans since the beginning of time
  • "Coney Island Number": The total number of grains of sand on that beach
  • "Ice Age Number": The total number of snow crystals that formed the Ice Age
  • "Science Number": The total number of electrons, protons, and neutrons in the Universe
  • How big are these specific numbers? They are 1016, 1020, 1030, and 1079 respectively. Big numbers...

    But, these special numbers give a special meaning to the size of everyone's special numbers, namely "Googol" (10100) and "Googolplex (10Googol).

    And, unlike English with its special "largest" word, mathematical numbers have no limits. Plus, Cantor's world of transfinite numbers adds even another tier for expansion.

    Source: "Strange But True," Bellingham Herald, July 1, 2010