Googol
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A googol is the large number 10^{100}. In decimal notation, it is written as the digit 1 followed by one hundred 0s:
 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.
The term was coined in 1920 by 9yearold Milton Sirotta (1911–1981), nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner.^{[1]} Kasner popularized the concept in his 1940 book Mathematics and the Imagination.^{[2]} Other names for googol include ten duotrigintillion on the short scale, ten thousand sexdecillion on the long scale, or ten sexdecilliard on the Peletier long scale.
Size
A googol has no special significance in mathematics. However, it is useful when comparing with other very large quantities such as the number of subatomic particles in the visible universe or the number of hypothetical possibilities in a chess game. Kasner used it to illustrate the difference between an unimaginably large number and infinity, and in this role it is sometimes used in teaching mathematics. To give a sense of how big a googol really is, the mass of an electron, just under , can be compared to the mass of the visible universe, estimated at between 10^{−30} kg and 10^{50}.^{[3]} It is a ratio in the order of about 10^{80} to 10^{90}, still much smaller than the value of a googol. 10^{60} kg
Carl Sagan points out that the total number of elementary particles in the universe is around 10^{80} (the Eddington number) and that if the whole universe were packed with neutrons so that there would be no empty space anywhere, there would be around 10^{128}. He also notes the similarity of the first calculation to that of Archimedes in The Sand Reckoner.^{[4]}
The decay time for a supermassive black hole of roughly 1 galaxymass (10^{11} solar masses) due to Hawking radiation is on the order of 10^{100} years,.^{[5]} Therefore, the heat death of the universe is lowerbounded to occur a googol years in the future.
Properties
A googol is approximately 70! (factorial of 70). Using an integral, binary numeral system, one would need 333 bits to represent a googol, i.e., 1 googol ≈ 2^{332.19280949}, or exactly . However, a googol is well within the maximum bounds of an IEEE 754 doubleprecision floating point type.
The series of residues (mod n) of one googol is:
 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 4, 4, 0, 1, 0, 1, 4, 3, 4, 10, 0, 4, 10, 9, 0, 4, 12, 13, 16, 0, 16, 10, 4, 16, 10, 5, 0, 1, 4, 25, 28, 10, 28, 16, 0, 1, 4, 31, 12, 10, 36, 27, 16, 11, 0, ... (sequence A066298 in OEIS)
Cultural impact
Widespread sounding of the word occurs through the name of the company Google, with the name "Google" being an accidental misspelling of "googol" by the company's founders,^{[6]} which was picked to signify that the search engine was intended to provide large quantities of information.^{[7]} In 2004, family members of Kasner, who had inherited the right to his book, were considering suing Google for their use of the term googol;^{[8]} however, no suit was ever filed.
Since October 2009 Google has been assigning domain names to its servers under the domain "1e100.net", the scientific notation for 1 Googol in order to provide a single domain to identify servers across the Google network.^{[9]}^{[10]}
The word is notable for being the subject of the £1 million question in a 2001 episode of the British quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, when contestant Charles Ingram cheated his way through the show with the help of an accomplice.^{[11]}
See also
References
 ↑ Bialik, Carl (June 14, 2004). "There Could Be No Google Without Edward Kasner". The Wall Street Journal Online. (retrieved March 17, 2015)
 ↑ Kasner, Edward; Newman, James R. (1940). Mathematics and the Imagination. Simon and Schuster, New York. ISBN 0486417034. The relevant passage about the googol and googolplex, attributing both of these names to Kasner's nineyearold nephew, is available in James R. Newman, ed. (2000) [1956]. The world of mathematics, volume 3. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. pp. 2007–2010. ISBN 9780486411514.
 ↑ Elert, Glenn; et al. "Mass of the Universe".
 ↑ Sagan, Carl (1981). Cosmos. Book Club Associates. pp. 220–221.
 ↑ Particle emission rates from a black hole: Massless particles from an uncharged, nonrotating hole, Don N. Page, Physical Review D 13 (1976), pp. 198–206. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.13.198. See in particular equation (27).
 ↑ Koller, David (January 2004). "Origin of the name "Google"". Stanford University. Archived from the original on July 4, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
 ↑ "Google! Beta website". Google, Inc. Archived from the original on February 2, 1999. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
 ↑ "Have your Google people talk to my `googol' people".
 ↑ Cade Metz (8 February 2010). "Google doppelgänger casts riddle over interwebs". The Register. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
 ↑ "What is 1e100.net?". Google. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
 ↑ Falk, Quentin; Falk, Ben (2005), "A Code and a Cough: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (1998–)", Television's Strangest Moments: Extraordinary But True Tales from the History of Television, Franz Steiner Verlag, pp. 245–246, ISBN 9781861058744.
External links
 Weisstein, Eric W., "Googol", MathWorld.
 googol at PlanetMath.org.
 Padilla, Tony; Symonds, Ria. "Googol and Googolplex". Numberphile. Brady Haran.