When we talk about big numbers, the first thing that probably comes to mind is “googol” – a number represented by the digit one followed by one hundred zeros. However, there is an even larger number called “googolplex”, which is represented by ten to the power of googol or 1 followed by a googol’s zeros. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the origins of the word “googolplex” and how old it is.

## The Birth of Googolplex

The term “googol” was introduced by the American mathematician Edward Kasner in 1938, when he wrote about it in his book, “Mathematics and the Imagination.” Essentially, a “googol” is a number so massive that it likely surpasses the number of particles in the universe. Kasner came up with the term when his young nephew, Milton Sirotta, asked him for a name for an extremely large number.

Milton, only nine years old at the time, had invented the term “googol” by taking the prefix “giga-” (meaning billion) and adding “-ol,” a common suffix in numbers such as “million” and “billion.” As the story goes, he continued adding “-ol” to the end of “googol” until his uncle Edward asked him when he would stop. Milton replied with “Googolplex!” and the rest, as they say, is history.

## Defining Googolplex

So, exactly how large is “googolplex”? As mentioned before, it’s equivalent to ten to the power of googol, or 1 followed by a googol’s zeros. To put this into perspective, the number of atoms in the known universe is estimated to be around 10^80. While this is an incredibly large number, it still pales in comparison to googol. And, of course, googolplex is even larger than that.

In fact, googolplex is so large that if you were to try writing it out in its entirety, you would require far more space than what is available in the entire universe. Even if you used the universe’s smallest possible unit of measurement for writing a single digit, you would still not have enough space to write out googolplex.

## How Old is Googolplex?

Now, we come to the question – how old is googolplex? The answer is a bit tricky because while the term “googolplex” was coined in 1938, the number itself has always existed. It is a theoretical construct that represents a certain magnitude of numbers.

So, in essence, googolplex is as old as our understanding of mathematics. It’s not something that can be created or destroyed – it has always been there as a concept. The term, on the other hand, is a human invention, created to give a name to this massive number.

## In Conclusion

To summarize, googolplex is an absolutely enormous number that is too large to even be written out in its entirety. Its name was invented by a young boy named Milton Sirotta, who simply added “-ol” to “googol” multiple times until he arrived at “googolplex.” While the term is relatively new, the concept of numbers of this magnitude has been around as long as mathematics itself.

## FAQ

### Is googolplex better than infinity?

The question of whether googolplex is better than infinity when it comes to measuring the magnitude of numbers is an interesting one. At first glance, it may seem that googolplex, which is a number with 10^100 digits, is larger than infinity, which is considered to be an endless and boundless concept. However, when it comes to the realm of mathematics, things are not always as simple as they seem.

To start with, infinity is not a number in the traditional sense, but rather a concept that represents a boundless and endless set of numbers. It is not a single value that can be compared to googolplex or any other specific number, but rather a concept that describes the idea of limitless quantity. Infinity cannot be counted, divided, or manipulated in a traditional mathematical sense, which confounds attempts to compare it to finite numbers like googolplex.

On the other hand, googolplex is a specific number that can be written out in its entirety, and while it is an enormous number, it is not the largest number that is possible or conceivable, as larger numbers can be generated through various mathematical operations and theories. Thus, in terms of being the biggest number, neither googolplex nor infinity holds that distinction, as there is no clear limit to the magnitude of numbers that can be imagined or produced in the realm of mathematics.

Furthermore, the question of whether googolplex is “better” than infinity is also somewhat puzzling since the two concepts describe different types of mathematical ideas. Infinity is a concept that relates primarily to the concepts of limits, calculus, and geometry, while googolplex is a number that is predominantly used in combinatorics and number theory. Therefore, comparing them directly in terms of their usefulness or value would not be entirely appropriate.

While googolplex is a considerable number, it is not greater than infinity, which is a concept that represents an endless and boundless set of numbers rather than a particular value. However, in the realm of mathematics, the concept of “the biggest number” is somewhat of a misnomer since there is no clear limit to the magnitude of numbers that can be conceived or created through mathematical methods.

### How big is Rayo’s number?

Rayo’s number is a mathematical concept invented by Gabriel Uzquiano in 2006. It attempts to describe an extremely large number that is unimaginably huge. According to its definition, Rayo’s number is the smallest number that is bigger than any number that can be named using an expression in the language of first-order set theory with less than a googol (10^100) symbols.

To understand the enormity of Rayo’s number, it is necessary to have some knowledge of set theory. Set theory is a branch of mathematics that deals with the concept of a set, which is a collection of distinct objects. In set theory, numbers themselves can be represented as sets. For example, the number 1 can be represented as a set containing a single object, while the number 2 can be represented as a set containing two objects.

The language of first-order set theory is a formal language that can be used to express mathematical statements. It involves a few basic symbols, such as variables, constants, and logical operators, which can be combined to form expressions that represent mathematical ideas. An expression in first-order set theory is said to have a certain number of symbols if it contains a certain number of these basic symbols.

Rayo’s number is the smallest number that cannot be named using an expression in the language of first-order set theory with less than a googol symbols. In other words, if you can write down an expression in first-order set theory with fewer than a googol symbols that names a certain number, then Rayo’s number is bigger than that number.

To put this in perspective, a googol is already an enormous number. It is equal to 10^100, or a 1 followed by 100 zeros. This is a number that is much larger than the number of atoms in the observable universe. If you were to write out a googol in standard decimal notation, it would require 101 digits. However, Rayo’s number is so much larger than a googol that it’s difficult to even comprehend its relative size.

One way to visualize the magnitude of Rayo’s number is to compare it to other mind-bogglingly large numbers. For example, Graham’s number is another number that was invented to describe an extremely large quantity in mathematics. Graham’s number is so large that it cannot be written down using standard notation. It is estimated to be much larger than Rayo’s number, yet it is still far from the largest number that has been described by mathematicians.

Rayo’S number is an abstract concept that represents an infinitely large value that is beyond human comprehension. Its definition shows that mathematics has the ability to describe quantities that are not only beyond our experience, but even beyond our ability to imagine.