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Posted by on Nov 28, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

What Is the Largest Number with a Name?

What Is the Largest Number with a Name?

The highest or the largest number in the U.S. system of numbers that is generally accepted to have a name is “centillion.” It is the number 1 followed by three hundred and three zeros. Of course, after centillion, we could keep counting as long as we like.

Another largest number that has a commonly-known specific name is a “googleplex”, which is a 1 followed by a googol zeros, where a “googol” is a 1 followed by hundred zeros.

However, there would be nothing stopping you from giving a special name to a still larger number (such as a googleplex plus 1), and then that would become the largest named number once the term became commonly known.

But we can never get to a last number, because there isn’t one. Mathematicians tell us that no matter how large a number we think of, there is always one bigger.

This idea is a very important one in science, and it has a special name, infinity. Scientists write infinity this way: oo. Names are not generally used for numbers larger than centillion.

Content for this question contributed by Joan DeCarlo, resident of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA