What is a Googol?
You might be thinking it is a spelling mistake, but it is not misspelled. A googol is also known as ten-duotrigintillionth, and it is a 1 with one hundred zeroes after it. Its scientific notion is 1*10100.
How did the idea come?
In ancient times, mathematicians invented a quick and straightforward way of representing large numbers. They created exponents to represent the mathematical function of multiplying a number by itself a certain number of times. For example, 105 means 10*10*10*10*10; in this, 10 is the base and 5 is the exponent.
These are still small numbers, but what about billions and trillion. One billion is 1, followed by 9 zeroes or 109. One trillion is 1, followed by 12 zeroes or 1012.
How big is Googol?
You can’t even imagine how massive this number is; it might take years if you start writing it. It is said to be bigger than the subatomic particles in the universe. Yet, it is still smaller than the total number of different possible games of chess.
Who invented it?
It was developed by Edward Kasner, who was an American mathematician. He mentioned this in his book in 1940; his intention was just to tell students how big a number can be. Initially, this number was not accepted universally, but it got widely accepted after a couple of years.
How did the name come up?
Edward was confused as to what name he should give to this number, so his nine-year-old nephew, Milton Sirotta, said that a silly number requires a silly name, and he suggested the name Googol.
Just like Googol, another term Googolplex was introduced by Edward Kasner and his colleague James Newman. They wrote about Googolplex, too, in their book “Mathematics and Imagination” in 1940. The scientific notion for Googolplex is 1*1010^100. This number is so huge that it cannot be written on papers, and you cannot calculate it. It would take longer than the age of the universe to calculate how long this number is.
How often are these terms used?
These terms are used rarely. They are just used at times to indicate infinity or a huge number. It is used to teach students how easily exponents can make the number look short.
Does Google take its name from Googol?
You got it right; the fantastic and incredible company Google took the name from here. Larry Page and Sergey Brin kept this name as they wanted to tell their Internet search engine would offer huge information for their users. Also, they have named their new headquarter Googleplex.