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Thursday, February 07, 2008

55 Flash Fiction - Mathematics


What's the largest number you can type in a 55?
A googol is the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros (in decimal representation). The term was coined in 1920 by nine-year-old Milton Sirotta (1911–1981), nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. Kasner popularized the concept in his book Mathematics and the Imagination (1940).

Googol is of the same order of magnitude as the factorial of 70 (70! being approximately 1.198 googol, or 10 to the power 100.0784), and its only prime factors are 2 and 5 (100 of each). In binary it would take up 333 bits.

A googolplex is the number 1 followed by a googol zeroes, or ten raised to the power of a googol:

10googol = 1010100.

In the documentary Cosmos, physicist and broadcast personality Carl Sagan estimated that writing a googolplex in numerals (i.e., "1,000,000,000...") would be physically impossible, since doing so would require more space than the known universe occupies.
(source: Wikipedia)

I suppose the fiction part is that I actually typed all of that.
I cheated and used copy & paste.

My theory on the name? "Good Golly" with a nine-year-olds pronunciation.



At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 8:16:00 PM EST, Blogger Mona $visitorIP said...

This 55 is beyond the comprehension of a mind like mine which understand only the infantile 'goo' of the whole aspect here...

I am a baby here & my mind a tabula raza...

At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 11:47:00 PM EST, Blogger Little Wing $visitorIP said...

Uhmmmmm......Ok Charles, yea........what you said.....Good Grief!!!!!!

At Friday, February 8, 2008 at 3:54:00 AM EST, Blogger Akelamalu $visitorIP said...

Good Golly - ingenious!

Mine's up.

At Friday, February 8, 2008 at 6:12:00 AM EST, Blogger Mona $visitorIP said...

& I thought it was ninolian...

Ok wise guy, now we know Googleplex CAN be typed in a 55 & the fiction is select copy & paste since you didn't type :D :D

At Friday, February 8, 2008 at 7:24:00 AM EST, Blogger G-Man $visitorIP said...


..Thanks for kind of playing.....G

At Friday, February 8, 2008 at 8:46:00 AM EST, Blogger Queenie $visitorIP said...

Charles that went straight over my head Doh!

At Friday, February 8, 2008 at 11:04:00 AM EST, Blogger Serena Joy $visitorIP said...

Grrrrrr and good golly! You're doing Math again. Now I have a headache.:-)

At Friday, February 8, 2008 at 4:17:00 PM EST, Blogger lime $visitorIP said...

well it is certainly more than my little brain can contain!

At Friday, February 8, 2008 at 4:50:00 PM EST, Blogger jillie $visitorIP said...

No math!!! LOL...good golly now I have a headache TOO!

Hope you have a great wknd Charles ;o)

At Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 8:07:00 AM EST, Blogger NYD $visitorIP said...

Put that number on a blank check and sign it. Then you'll get the proper attention it deserves.

At Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 7:44:00 AM EST, Blogger snowelf $visitorIP said...


Charles, you are wicked-clever! :)


At Monday, February 11, 2008 at 3:28:00 AM EST, Blogger S E E Quine $visitorIP said...

` Did you know, the 'GooglePlex' is where Google employees work?

` PS crazy stuff afoot over here!

At Monday, February 11, 2008 at 11:03:00 AM EST, Blogger $visitorIP said...

I loved this one! Sneaky and ingenious! Brilliant!

At Monday, February 11, 2008 at 11:11:00 AM EST, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

It takes another great mind to appreciate it. I don't really know what you mean about sneaky, but that's probably because you're the brilliant one. I think some of the others, including Snow and S E E Quine, may be there in the appreciative crowd, but they have lives.

At Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 12:03:00 PM EST, Blogger $visitorIP said...

Me? Brilliant? Haha! :D

By sneaky I meant the way you got around the impossibility of being able to write a googolplex ( and thus all higher numbers as well ); smart :)

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