Tom's Take On Large-In-Life Numbers
Consider this list of numbers, in increasing order:
2 billion = 2 x 109
6 billion = 6 x 109
14 billion = 1.4 x 1010
6 trillion = 6 x 1012
7 trillion = 7 x 1012
400 nonillion = 4 x 1032
1 x 1080
1 x 10120
Match one of the above numbers as a "best" estimation of each of the following items:
- Number of people in the world
- Number of grains of sand that would fill a sphere the size of the earth
- Average number of hairs on one's head
- Age of the universe (in years)
- Number of possible chess moves in a chess game
- Number of times your heart beats in your life
- Number of words in the English language
- Number of atoms in the universe
- National debt (in dolars)
- One light-year (distance light travels in a year) in miles
Source: Tom Swanson's "Large Numbers," Oregon Mathematics Teacher, Dec. 2003, p. 37.
Hint: Do some estimations....some calculations...some eliminating....some comparisons....some Internet searching.
Solution Commentary: Sorry...that would ruin the experience.