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“Don't think about Googolplex, unless you can make money out of it.”
“I think 'Googolplex' has a nice ring to it.”
Googolplex is a number, notable for being written with googol zeroes. It is a common mistake to consider it the biggest number humans can wrap their minds around, as it is enough to add another "plex" to it, in order to get an even larger number.
Billions of billions of years ago, the Universe was created, and so was Googol (10 in the hundredth degree). Googolplex (a number with Googol zeroes) came later, after the Universe has been expanding for long enough to contain Googolplex particles.
In 1940, Edward Kasner and James R. Newman have published a book called "Mathematics and Imagination", where Edward has falsely claimed to have invented the term "googol" (and "googolplex"), stealing all of the credit from his nine-year old nephew.
In 1990s, Sergey Brin introduced a similar term, "Google", which was a mix between "Googol" and "Doodle", therefore meaning "aimlessly drawing Googol". But nobody has ever tried to "aimlessly draw Googol", thus making the term pointless. To prove public wrong, Sergey Brin began drawing something pointless and several years later has come up with a research tool that helps you to find trash and advertisement. Brin claims that "Google" can display Googol results at once. He has not been proven wrong yet.
edit Writing the number down
Writing Googolplexian down is a hard business but it definitely won't take you billions of years.
The first way is to take out a laptop (you were not going to spoil trees for this, were you?), and type 10 zeroes. Then copy and paste them 9 times next to the first ten zeroes. After that, copy and paste these hundred zeroes you got nine times, etc. This will take you several million years less than it would have taken you if you were to write, let's say, every single zero one by one.
But, if you are so impatient that you do not even want to spend several million years on this activity, the author of the article worked out another method which allows you to write the entire number down in only a minute or so. You can see the result at the bottom of the page.
Many have criticized the number, even though nobody has ever seen it. The main reasons for such criticism are:
- It's not on a calculator;
- It cannot be downloaded (even via PDF);
- Pie is better.
edit Did you know that...
- ...the word "Googolplex" is written with a capital letter merely because of a common mistake, stating that it is the largest number with a name (see introduction)?
- ...G00g0lplex should actually be written with three zer0es and n0t G00g0l?
edit Googolplex written down
- ↑ Please note that this method has been patented by the author and that it works with Googol as well as it does with Googolplex